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Teacher Group Leads Push For Common Core

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 11 Oct 2013 01:53pm | comments
MAE president Joyce Helmick

Mississippi's largest teacher association is trying to rally state educators to support the new Common Core standards. As MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports the Mississippi Association of Educators sees the move to Common Core as a boost to education in the state.

45 states, including Mississippi, have agreed to a new set of education standards called Common Core that supporters say increases and standardize achievement measures for school children.

The state is in the process of implementing the standards and Mississippi Association of Educators president Joyce Helmick says they are trying to rally teachers to support them.

"All it is is a set of standards. And in Mississippi we have been looking for some standards. Why are our students not where students in other places are? It is because our standards are not the same as theirs. These standards are the same across the nation. So now I know where to bring my students," Helmick siad.

While the state has been moving toward Common Core for years, many educators remain unfamiliar with the changes.

The MAE is holding a two day conference in Jackson with teachers from around the state aimed at changing that.

Vicksburg Teacher Lakesha Batty says says learning more about Common Core demystified the changes.

"Very much so. We don't look at it as a monster anymore. Its more of this is the new standard we are going to use now we are going to figure out how we are going to use it," Batty said.

However, Common Core has also been gathering an increasing amount of conservative opposition.

A number of people attended Mississippi Speaker Phillip Gunn's recent ideas tour to denounce Common Core...one man derisively called it Obamacare for our kids.

Central Mississippi Tea Party Leader Roy Nicholson told the Speaker that Common Core removes state control of education.

"The differences on Common Core and what should be done with a child at what age and things like the is a conversation we should be having internally. That is not something that should be told to us that you will do it this way by the federal government because we are giving you all this money," Nicholson said.

The Mississippi Department of Education started the transition to Common Core in 20-10 and appears committed to seeing the changes through over the next three years.

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MAE president Joyce Helmick


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