The Marshall Islands Public School System released the results of its annual Marshall Islands Standard Achievement Test (MISAT) earlier this month in a presentation to local government mayors at the International Conference Center.
The test results from this past school year show that the highest average score was produced by eighth graders, with 41 percent of the students at or above their grade level. High school test scores showed the lowest proficiency rates of all five grades tested, with an average of only 19 percent proficiency among 10th graders and 20 percent proficiency among 12th graders. This means that four out of five high school students in these grades were not performing work at their grade level.
Overall, the results show still-low academic proficiency levels. Over half — and in some cases three fourths — of students in different grades show they are not able to understand subjects at their grade levels.
One bright spot is that for both third and sixth grades, Marshallese reading scores improved after several years of flat results. Third grade Marshallese reading scores bumped to 37 percent in 2016 compared to 34 percent last year. In sixth, the results increased in a year from 33 percent to 39 percent.
Overall, the most promising scores appear to be in eighth grade, which show a consistent increase over five years, with 41 percent of students testing at or above grade level this year. Third grade results also showed students scored better in three out of four subjects from 2015 to 2016. But a five percent drop in science test scores (from 34 percent to 29 percent).
But sixth grade was the opposite of third grade, with three of four subjects showing no improvement or slight decline and only Marshallese reading improving. Science results for sixth grade show only 15 percent of all students are at or above grade level, while only 20 percent of students are proficient in math and English reading.
Read more about this in the July 22, 2016 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.