The Parents’ Campaign’s 2013 Legislative & Policy Priorities A School Reform Agenda

An excellent early education experience for every child (A Blueprint Mississippi 2011 recommendation)

  • $5-million for Mississippi Building Blocks
  • Based on a per-student cost of $2,000, this will allow MBB in 2013-2014 to reach approximately 2,500 children in child care centers located primarily in low-income areas of Mississippi

An excellent teacher in every classroom (A Blueprint Mississippi 2011 recommendation)

  • $12-million appropriation for Teach for America (TFA)
  • Reform universities’ teacher education programs to require more focus on content areas (the subjects teachers teach) as well as instruction in Common Core State Standards and in diagnostic/formative assessments and data analysis will not require legislation
  • Raise the standards for admission into universities’ schools of education will not require legislation
  • Include in the teacher compensation package a merit-based approach that provides significantly increased compensation for teachers who demonstrate excellence in moving students forwardteachers should be evaluated on student growth measured over the course of the school year versus basing performance on a single end-of-year test such as MCT2

 An excellent leader in every school and district  (A Blueprint Mississippi 2011 recommendation)

  • Transition to all appointed superintendents by 2015; elected superintendents would be eligible for appointment by their boards   

An excellent public school for every Mississippi child – authorize charter schools in zones of chronically underperforming schools  (A Blueprint Mississippi 2011 recommendation)

  • Permit charters only in school zones where the local schools have been underperforming for the two (or more) most recent years 
  • Grant charters only to entities that have a track record of success in working with low-performing schools
  • Prohibit virtual charter schools; charter schools students should have access to online courses through the existing Mississippi Virtual Public School program
  • Charter schools and their management organizations should be non-profit
  • The charter should be subject to the same assessments and accountability as all other publicly-funded schools
  • All eligible children living within the attendance zone in which the charter school is located should be included in the lottery
  • There should be a single, non-politicized authorizer of charter schools 

Resources that are adequate for success – halfway to full funding

  • $150-million increase in Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP) funding in the 2013 Legislative Session
  • Fully fund the MAEP by the end of the 2014 Legislative Session

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