What is Required for Strong Student Achievement?

Children who are "school ready"
A strong curriculum
Excellent teachers and leaders
Sufficient time on task to master skills

Mississippi's Status Quo

The status quo in Mississippi has been firmly protected over the years by state leaders who have refused to make the changes that research shows improve student achievement. Their excuse consistently has been that Mississippi can't afford a high quality education for our children, and these elected officials have too often blamed educators for the results of their own failed policies. The status quo in Mississippi is:

  • Children who arrive in kindergarten well behind their peers

Why: While almost every other state has invested in high quality early childhood education, Mississippi's leaders have failed to do so.

  • Too few excellent teachers

Why: Low salaries, low entry requirements for teacher education programs, irrelevant teacher education programs with little rigor, and a poor perception of the teaching profession.

  • Too few excellent leaders

Why: Ineffective training and licensure programs, and weak teachers are often becoming weak administrators.

  • Too little time on task for mastery to occur

Why: Mississippi's school day and year require less time on task than those in other states and countries. Mississippi students are expected to learn in 180 days what students in top-performing countries have over 200 days to learn. Additionally, in many cases, class time is not used effectively. Five states have just extended both the school day and the school year for struggling students.

  • The good news: Mississippi is moving toward a rigorous curriculum: the Common Core State Standard is an internationally benchmarked curriculum that will ensure that Mississippi children are learning on par with their peers in other states and other countries. It will yield significant gains over time if it is implemented well.

What Does Serious School Reform Look Like? See our School Reform Agenda for 2013.

  • See our School Reform Agenda for 2013.
  • An excellent early education experience for every child
  • An excellent teacher in every classroom
  • An excellent leader in every schools
  • Strong accountability focused on growth
  • Resources adequate for success