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1 in 4 Mississippi third graders flunk tougher reading test

Elize'a Scott, a Key Elementary School third grade student, right, reads under the watchful eyes of teacher Crystal McKinnis, left, Thursday, April 18, 2019, in Jackson, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

JACKSON, Miss. — About one in four Mississippi third graders failed a toughened reading test on the first try this spring, leaving it unclear if they will advance to fourth grade.

The Mississippi Department of Education released results Wednesday.

Mississippi is one of 16 states that demand third grade students pass a reading score threshold or flunk. Mississippi raised its threshold this year, mandating students reach the middle of five scoring levels.

Students had a second chance last week, although those results aren’t yet available. Students get a third chance later this summer.

Officials predicted passing rates would drop from last year’s 93.8 percent, when students had to reach the second level.

The Chickasaw County school district has the top share of passing third graders at 94%. Yazoo City was lowest at 32%.

In Desoto County, nearly 42 percent of third graders at Horn Lake Intermediate School and 40 percent of those at Southaven Elementary didn’t meet the requirements.

Center Hill and Pleasant Hill Elementary had the highest scores with 90 percent each.

To see the full report, click here.

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