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Subject area tests:
County scores well, mixed results for city

By By Lynette Wilson / staff writer
Aug. 12, 2002
Students in Lauderdale County outperformed students statewide on all four tests in the Mississippi Subject Area Testing Program.
The Mississippi Department of Education released the subject area scores late Sunday night. Students tested in Algebra I, Biology I, U.S. History and English II in fall 2001 and spring 2002.
In compliance with the federal No Child Left Behind Act, states are required to set standards for what students should learn in each grade.
The law requires states to make each school accountable for meeting these standards. Scores from the subject area tests, combined with those of the Mississippi Curriculum test, provide the basis for accreditation. This was the first year results from the subject area tests counted as a graduation requirement for most of the students taking the tests.
At Northeast High School, where at least 90 percent of students passed all four tests, Principal Rob Calcote said he is pleased but looks to students to perform better this year.
However, that's not the case in Meridian. Meridian High School students performed below the state average on two of the subject area tests U.S. History and the multiple choice section of the English II test.
McLin said Meridian students' scores in U.S. History are below the state level.
Subject area tests are specific to Mississippi's curriculum, and no national comparison can be made. However, McLin said, when you consider national indicators of academic performance, Mississippi is usually at the bottom so to score at the Mississippi state average is not good enough.