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A 2013 Nation’s Report Card Shows Challenges for Mississippi Students

By Lawayne Childrey | Published 08 Nov 2013 09:34am | comments

Mississippi's students have made incremental improvements in math and reading since 2011, according to the national 'report card' for 2013. However, when compared to other states Mississippi's 4th and 8th  grade students are not yet where they should be. MPB's Lawayne Childrey has reaction from education advocates.    

Shortly after the National Assessment of Educational Progress released its 2013 report card yesterday, House Education Chairman John Moore of Brandon says he wasn't surprised at the results. Moore says that's why over the past two years Mississippi lawmakers have focused on efforts like expanding the states pre-kindergarten program and improving literacy instruction.

"So the state has committed some dollars for these students to be more ready to start school. And then the governor signed the third grade reading gate bill that actually puts a mandate on the district that any student will have to read at a proficient standard before they can move from the 3rd to the 4th grade. And I think of all the pieces of legislation that we passed that has a more profound effect."

Ann Foster is the Executive Director of Parents for Public Schools.

"We're not yet funding schools at the level that the legislature themselves said it takes for success in schools. So when we're not funding at the level we should be I don’t know why anybody would be surprised at this."

Joyce Helmick, President of the Mississippi Association of Educators is also not surprised by the report. However she believes the states new common core standards in math and language arts will help bolster academic success in the state.

" These are standards where we are saying to our children you can come up to this level. And this is what is going to bring you into college preparedness and workforce preparedness in the future. And these standards are high and they are the same standards that are for everyone across the board across the United States."

In a written statement, State Superintendent of Education, Dr. Carey Wright, said,  Mississippi students are not where they need to be . But she agrees that the states new common core standards could help place a laser like focus on literacy instruction.  Lawayne Childrey, MPB News.

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