(Hundreds of schools) across the state are preparing their students for the Third Grade Reading Summative Assessment — otherwise known as the third grade reading gate.

The test makes sure students are ready to move on the fourth grade, and hold them back if they are not. Kymyona Burk is the state literacy director at the Mississippi Department of Education.

“The assessment will contain 50 multiple choice items,” says Burk. “These items will range from phonics, vocabulary, those reading foundational skills and of course through text comprehension.”

Around 40,000 students will take the exam. Of the 40,000, officials believe as many as 6,000 students could fail the exam. That number is based on the results of previous year’s assessments. Since 2013, lawmakers have appropriated more than $20 million to go towards improving reading scores and hiring literacy coaches. 

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