/Feds approve Mississippi Succeeds education plan

Feds approve Mississippi Succeeds education plan

Non-profit Mississippi News The U.S. Department of Education has approved Mississippi’s extensive state education plan after months of back and forth. The Mississippi Succeeds plan was approved by federal officials this week. It also included plans from Idaho and Rhode Island. U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos stated in a press release that the state plans had met ESSA (Every Student Succeeds act) requirements and she was pleased to approve them. “I look forward seeing how these states tap into the flexibility afforded them by ESSA to innovate for their students,” U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said in a release. Every student succeeds Act is a federal law that requires every state to create a new plan. It replaces the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act. The plan for Mississippi was presented to the State Department of Education on June 2017. Since then, state officials have been working with federal officials to make the plan available for approval. Mississippi Succeeds describes how Mississippi will improve education outcomes, including graduation rates, early learning opportunities, and access to high-quality testing. This plan aims to eliminate the achievement gap between African American students, and their peers. ESSA requires that states reduce the gap between graduation rates for special education students and other students. Mississippi’s plan aims to increase the graduation rate of students with disabilities by increasing it from 34.7 percent in the 2015-16 schoolyear to 70 percent by 2020. According to the plan, the plan aims to raise the graduation rate of all students from 82.3 per cent in 2015-16 to 90% by 2025. According to federal law, states must now identify and support the five percent that are performing poorly among all Title I schools or high-poverty school schools. Mississippi Succeeds will target these schools. Carey Wright, Mississippi’s State Superintendent, stated that the state’s long-term goals aligned with a “bold strategic program to advance student achievement”. Wright also said that there are aggressive annual performance targets for each subgroup, which will be monitored annually. “We take our commitment to improving student outcomes seriously, which is why, in September, Mississippi submitted its plan to be reviewed. In December, the U.S. Department of Education wrote Wright asking for clarification on several aspects of the plan. In January, federal officials raised concerns about the fact that Mississippi Succeeds did not provide a numerical value for test scores or growth data for English Language Learners. This was in response to the 2017-2018 accountability ratings for schools. Officials from the state warned that this could force the state’s A-F grading system to be changed. Original plan was to gradually move these students into accountability ratings over three years. However, Mississippi officials indicated that the approved plan would include English language learners in the 2017-18 ratings. These ratings are typically released in October. The state’s English language learners account for about 3 to 5 percent of its students, although the proportions vary in each district.