• TheDMonline.com Staff Member?
  • Log In
Share |

New state education policies

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush calls for higher education policies in Mississippi.

On Aug. 9, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush urged Mississippi lawmakers to call for higher academic standards and more accountability from Mississippi schools, similar to the policies he put in place as the governor of Florida. According to Peter Smith of the Mississippi State Board of Education, Mississippi is heading in the right direction with some new policies that are going to be put in place.
“We feel that some of the new changes, new curriculum and new programs, such as common course base standards, will show that progress can grow at an even faster pace,” Smith said.
The most recent change, an adaptation of one of Florida’s laws, was implemented July 1 when Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed the School Letter Grade Bill. This new law will grade the performance of public schools on an A-F scale just like students are graded. With new course base standards, schools will be held accountable for student performance.
Elizabeth Kelley, an education freshman from California, said she believes the new policies will help her perform better when she becomes an elementary school teacher.
“With the new A-F grading policy, it will kind of hold me up to a higher accountability level, and I’ll want to achieve higher (performance) and have my students achieve more, too,” she said. “I think the state recognizes where we are in this situation, and I want to be part of the solution.”
Smith and the rest of the Board of Education know they have a long way to go, but having people who are willing to be part of serving the education policy only helps their cause.
“I think it’s important to know that Mississippi didn’t get in this situation, as far as being at the bottom of education rankings, overnight,” Smith said. “It’s gonna be a steady process before we get to the top.”