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Mississippi Looks to Improve education by Boosting Core Subject Standards

By Daniel Cherry | Published 04 May 2011 04:17pm | comments

The Mississippi Department of Education is studying how to make some big changes to core subjects like Math and English. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports how the changes could align Mississippi with other states.

The program called Common Core State Standards is a cooperation between 42 states to make standardized testing and curriculum more uniform. Dr. Lynn House is Deputy Superintendent with the Department of Education. She says she's optimistic about Mississippi raising its standards in core subjects to that of other states.

"I think you're going to see all of the states looking at what the standards say and how the assessments are going to be. And they're all going to say from New York to Mississippi and everywhere in between, these are highly rigorous standards that we're all going to work to meet."

Now all states have different tests and curriculum, but when Common Core Standards are implemented it will show direct comparisons between state performance. Susan Womack is with Parents for Public Schools. She says a more rigorous curriculum will help Mississippi students.

"We've been behind for a very long time and I think it's time for Mississippi to step up and join the rest of the country in investing in our children and making sure they have the education they need to be competitive and be successful."

Dr. House hopes this is going to raise Mississippi's performance up to par with the rest of the country...something she says will be helpful when attracting industry down the road.

"If Mississippi wants to compete not just nationally or regionally but internationally as well which we know our students are going to have to be prepared to do. Then this effort is extremely important to really get us where we need to be for a solid future for our state."

The phase only includes Math and English. The other subjects will follow as their curriculum becomes more developed. The full program won't go into effect until at least 2015. Daniel Cherry...MPB News

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