MDE Clarifies Policies on Testing, Grad Requirements, & More

The Mississippi Board of Education met yesterday to adopt policy suspensions that will help mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on students and teachers. 

The Board adopted the following:

Graduation for the Class of 2020
Seniors who meet all district and state requirements and earn a minimum of 24 Carnegie units may graduate this school year. Seniors are not required to take end-of-course assessments in Algebra I, English II, Biology, and U.S. History.

Students Scheduled to Take High School End-of-Course Assessments
Students in grades 7-12 enrolled in Algebra I, Biology, English II, and/or U. S. History for the 2019-2020 school year are not required to take and/or pass the corresponding end-of-course subject area test(s).

High School Credits (Carnegie Units)
School districts shall determine a process for awarding credits for courses that are incomplete for school year 2019-2020. Local school boards may suspend or amend graduation policies for the 2019-2020 school year.

3rd Graders
Current 3rd graders are not required to pass the 3rd grade reading assessment for promotion to 4th grade. 

Education Preparation Program Entry
Candidates seeking admission to an SBE-approved traditional or nontraditional educator preparation program on or before December 31, 2021, are exempt from the educator prep program entry testing criterion. 

Educator Preparation
Spring 2020 educator licensure candidates do not need to meet the 12-week student teaching requirement to become licensed. The MDE will work with educator preparation providers to determine experiences necessary for licensure.

Federal Accountability Waivers
The U.S. Department of Education has informed MDE of its intention to waive federal accountability requirements and the 180-day school year requirement for the 2019-2020 school year. 

Local Policies
Local school districts have authority to establish policies regarding grading, promotion, retention and graduation.

Find important details regarding these policy suspensions here.

Thank you, educators and parents, for all the ways you have risen to the occasion this week to ensure that Mississippi children are nourished and continuing to learn in this challenging time! You’ve made it through week one of learning at home, and you deserve some family fun. We can help with the cool games, puzzles, and virtual trips abroad linked here on our web site. Take good care of yourself, and hang in there. Because together, we’ve got this!