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Education Week’s Quality Counts: Mississippi Top Five Most Improved State for Chance-for-Success


For Immediate Release: February 3, 2020

JACKSON, Miss. – For the second time in two years, Mississippi earned recognition as one of five most improved states in the latest Quality Counts report that examines achievement in school systems from prekindergarten through grade 12 and socioeconomic factors leading to success in adulthood.

Mississippi gained 6.2 points in the Chance-for-Success Index, improving its grade from a D+ in 2008 to a C in 2020. The report stated key advances in family income, parental education levels, parental employment, 4th grade reading, and 8th grade math contributed to the state’s success.

Quality Counts Most Improved



The nation earned a C+ in this category, with a score of 79.2 out of 100 possible points. Mississippi earned a C, 73.9 out of 100 points.


“This evaluation of the hard work of our students, teachers and leaders prove that Mississippi is making significant progress in lifting student achievement,” said Dr. Carey Wright, superintendent of education. “We are leading the nation for gains in education because of our laser-like focus on improving opportunities for children.”

This first of three Quality Counts 2020 installments evaluates the nation and the states on 13 family, school, and socioeconomic markers from the early years and K-12, into adulthood and the working world. This index, according to EdWeek’s Research Center, “focuses on the underlying conditions in states, schools, and households that affect whether children get what they need to become successful adults as they move through the educational pipeline into the post-school phase of their lives.”

The Chance-for-Success Index will be followed in June by top-to-bottom rankings and analysis of school finance, and in September by the K-12 Achievement Index and the annual summative ranking of the states and the nation.

In 2019, Mississippi achieved the No. 1 spot in the nation for gains on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), known as the Nation’s Report Card. NAEP measures student proficiency in 4th and 8th grade reading and mathematics, and Mississippi was the only state in the nation to show significant increases in three of the four NAEP subjects. Washington, D.C., was the only jurisdiction to show gains in three of four subjects.


Media Contact: 

Patrice Guilfoyle, APR
Director of Communications

Jean Cook, APR
Director of Public Relations