COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) Mississippi standardized testing will soon be underway. The Mississippi Curriculum Test, also known as the MCT, will be administered to students grades 3-8 this week.
The importance of the MCT would be hard to overstate. The state wide testing covers reading, language arts and math. Schools have been preparing for this week all year. Lezli KcKellar is a 5th grade teacher at New Hope Elementary School who has watched her school district stress the importance of this test.
“Throughout the year we take practice tests and give them incentives for doing well. We have little parties or give Trojan buck- all kinds of different things to get the kids ready- MCT pep rallies. I’ve been really pleased since I’ve been teaching in Lowndes County how every year we’ve done just a little bit better.”
Over the last several years, MCT test scores have been improving in Lowndes County. However, just one bad year could result in serious consequences.
“If we don’t show continuous progress and growth with our report card, as they say, we could be taken over by the state and we will lose a lot of funding,” said Katina Brooks, a teacher at Columbus Middle School.
High test results are crucial in recruiting teachers. Successful schools not only attract high quality educators but can draw new businesses to the area.
“Businesses and industries coming into Columbus look to how our schools are doing. They see how high performing Lowndes County schools are so that is a determining factor for where they’ll purchase their home,” said McKellar.
Despite the high stakes, Brooks is confident this year will again yield positive results.
“I’m expecting good things this year because we’ve worked so hard.”
This year, an updated version of the MCT will be used again to further ensure that Mississippi students are on par with other students across the nation. Teachers are advising students to get a good night’s sleep and eat a healthy breakfast before testing to be able to perform their best.