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State Superintendent’s Annual Report for 2020-21 notes achievements as students, teachers persevered

The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) 2020-21 Superintendent’s Annual Report has been released, detailing how Mississippi students, teachers and school leaders continued to strive in classrooms during the Covid-19 pandemic by building upon historic academic gains of recent years. View the report online at

Report highlights:

  • Graduation rate reached an all-time high of 87%; graduation rate of students with disabilities reached an all-time high of 55.4%, more than double the rate of 23.2% in 2014.

  • Dropout rate fell to an historic low of 8.8%.

  • Statewide assessments resumed with 97% of students participating.

  • The Advanced Placement exam passing rate for 2021 reached an all-time high of 37.4% for a full school year.

  • The number of students who completed career and technical education courses of study increased 36% from 2015 to 2021.

  • Nearly 400,000 computer devices secured for students through Mississippi Connects initiative and other funds.

  • In partnership with Mississippi Public Broadcasting, MDE literacy coaches and other certified teachers filmed 260 lessons to preK-12th grade students on the MPB Classroom TV channel.

  • Class of 2022 graduates can now earn an academic or distinguished academic endorsement to automatically qualify for admission into any of Mississippi’s public universities. Graduates can also earn a career and technical education endorsement.

  • Approximately 3,000 students enrolled in 18 Early Learning Collaboratives across the state with plans to enroll 6,000 students in additional ELCs in 2022-23 now that funding has doubled from $8 million to $16 million.

  • A team of 112 coaches support teachers and school leaders in the areas of literacy, early childhood education, special education, school improvement and digital learning. Math coaches will be added in 2022.

  • Three schools exited the Comprehensive Support and Improvement program and four schools were named 2021 National Blue Ribbon Schools.

Assessment results indicate the pandemic’s toll on learning. Pre-pandemic, student proficiency had reached an all-time high of 41.6% in English Language Arts (ELA) and 47.4% in mathematics in 2019. When assessments resumed in 2021, student proficiency decreased in ELA to 34.9% and mathematics to 35.1%. Like other states, achievement dropped more in mathematics than ELA.

“Despite some setbacks, Mississippi students, families, teachers and school leaders persevered through the most challenging school year of their lives, and I could not be more proud,” said Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education. “As we continue to combat the pandemic, plans are underway to offer additional resources to teachers and students and ensure academic gains are achieved.”

Find all MDE news releases at


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