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Lauderdale County students beat out Meridian students in academics

By By Lynette Wilson / staff writer
July 23, 2002
Results from a national achievement test show Lauderdale County public school students out-performed Meridian public school students in reading, language and math skills.
Mississippi public school students in the fifth and eighth grades took the Terra Nova test last spring. Results show Lauderdale County scored above and Meridian scored below the national average of 50 percent.
The statewide average score for Mississippi is 50.8 percent for fifth-grade students and 49.9 percent for eighth-grade students.
Lauderdale County fifth-graders scored a 55.9 percent average, while eighth-graders scored a 53.4 percent average.
In Meridian, fifth-graders had a 44.3 percent average and eighth-graders had 43.4 percent average.
Although scores for individual schools have not been released to the public, McLin pointed to George Washington Carver Middle School which she said showed improvement on the test.
Principal Robert Markham said the increase is a result of hard-working students and teachers.
Godine said the Terra Nova is important because it shows where students in Mississippi compare to students in other states and on the national level.
But she said the test isn't used to judge a school's academic performance, a job left to the Mississippi Curriculum Test. Another series of tests on individual subjects determines whether a students passes to the next grade or graduates.
Godine said the schools have the results from the Mississippi Curriculum Test. But until the Mississippi Department of Education lifts the embargo later this week, the data is not available to the public.
Here is look at average scores on the Terra Nova, a national standardized achievement test given to fifth- and eighth-grade public school students. The national average is 50 percent.
Grade 5/Mississippi/
Lauderdale County/Meridian
Total score/50.8/55.94/4.3
Grade 8/Mississippi/
Lauderdale County/Meridian
Total score/49.9/53.4/43.3
Source: Mississippi Department of Education