State Board Policy

DESCRIPTOR TERM: Grades 3 and 7 Benchmarks for the MCT
CODE: 7604
REPEALED: 5/2007
REVISION: October 24,1997

Grades 3 and 7 Benchmarks for the MCT

Student Intervention and Review Teams

  1. Each school may have a Student Intervention Team, comprised of teachers from that school, which will continually evaluate students and make ongoing recommendations about instructional decisions beginning in kindergarten through 8th grade.
  1. Each school district shall form External School Review Teams that will recommend retention/promotion for a student failing grades 3 and 7 benchmarks, as described below. In order to provide objective reviews, the team members will consist of teachers who do not teach at the school where students are being evaluated. Team members can be from other schools within a school district or from another school district.

Timeline and Description of Retention/Promotion Process

Fall - Score reports from the spring Mississippi Curriculum Test (MCT) are returned in mid-July.  Students who took the test at the end of 2nd and 6th grades are entering 3rd and 7th grades.  At the beginning of the school year, the Student Intervention Team shall assist individual teachers in examining test scores and other data from these students' records in order to identify students who might be at risk of failing to reach the benchmarks established for grades 3 and 7.

Spring - Students take the MCT.  Scores are returned in mid-July, and pass/fail is determined in each content area.

Fall - Students go on to the 4th or 8th grade (unless they are retained for reasons other than the results of the MCT).  The Student Intervention Team may assist teachers in identifying specific areas in which students need instructional intervention and in mapping out strategies for increasing student achievement.  These strategies may include, but are not limited to, extended day services, tutoring, compensatory classes, and parent contracts.  Eighth grade students may be enrolled in compensatory classes of reading, writing, and mathematics as electives.

Winter - In January, students who failed the test are re-tested in the content area(s) they failed using the 3rd/7th grade MCT.

Spring - Scores are returned.  Students who pass are eligible to go on to 5th/9th grades the next school year unless they are retained based on the district promotion/retention policy.  Students who do not pass are referred to an External School Review Team. The team, using criteria set forth by the Mississippi Department of Education, will recommend retention or promotion to the school district.

The district may exempt a student from retention provided:

  • there is an abundance of evidence that the student's test scores do not reflect his usual performance; or
  • complying with all facets of this policy would have an adverse impact on the student's educational program; or
  • other unusual or compelling circumstances exist.

If a student is exempted from retention, possible educational repercussions are discussed with parents/guardians, specifically including a detailed explanation of the graduation requirement of passing the subject area tests.  Parental consent is given.

May - Students will take the 4th/8th grade MCT.

July - A student who was to be retained based on the recommendation of the External School Review Team may be promoted by the district if the student passes the 4th/8th grade test based on criteria established solely for this purpose.

Students with Disabilities

  • The IEP committee will make promotion recommendations for students participating in instructional-level testing.
  • The IEP committee will make promotion recommendations for students participating in an alternate assessment.

Students Absent from Testing

Students enrolled in the school but absent during test administration (including make-up testing) for the 3rd and 7th grade MCT

  • The External Review Team will use information from other sources to identify students who need remediation. If identified as needing remediation, the student will participate in the re-test during the 4th/8th grade.

Students transferring into the school after the administration of the MCT

  • Students entering a Mississippi public school from a public school of another state will not be required to pass the grades 3 and 7 benchmark tests.
  • Students entering a Mississippi public school from a private school that is accredited regionally or by the state of Mississippi will not be required to pass the grades 3 and 7 benchmark tests.
  • Students entering a Mississippi public school from a non-accredited school will take a grade placement test as required by the Mississippi Public School Accountability Standards. Appropriate decisions will be based on the results of the grade placement test.
Mississippi Department of Education     P.O. Box 771     Jackson, MS 39205-0771     General Information: 601-359-3513

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