/Mississippi wins education innovation award

Mississippi wins education innovation award

A Denver-based group recognized Mississippi as an educational innovator. The Education Commission of the States is based in Colorado and awarded Mississippi the Frank Newman Award of State Innovation. It cited Mississippi’s “transformational education Reform Package”. Jeremy Anderson, president, of the commission, said Mississippi’s commitment to improving education outcomes was “very impressive” and that it is paying off. In a news release, they said Mississippi’s reforms focused on early-childhood literacy and included the expansion and implementation of an A-to F accountability system for schools. The group also cited the 2014 teacher pay hike. Gov. Phil Bryant announced the award for the first time at a luncheon of Mississippi Economic Council. Governor Phil Bryant stated that reforming and modernizing the public education system has been a priority for my administration since my first term. Phil Bryant spoke through a statement issued by the commission. “Parents know best their children. Bryant advocated legislation in 2013 to require that 3rd graders pass a literacy test before they are promoted to the 4th grade. In 2015, 92% of students passed the test in its first year. The Frank Newman Award for State Innovation was named for a long-serving commission president. It recognizes state innovations that other states can copy, is considered brave and courageous, and has bipartisan support. Joyce Helmick, the president of the Mississippi Association of Educators, was skeptical about the news, saying that while great things are occurring in classrooms they have little to do legislative reforms. “Thousands of Mississippi teachers, educators support professionals, and administrators are working unpaid for up to five hours per week. They also buy supplies with their own money and work with 20 to 50 percent more students each day because of budget cuts, underfunded schools, and severe teacher shortages in many school districts. Helmick stated that we should go to schools and see the real truth about the great reform movement. “Go to the Mississippi college, and see the university teacher preparation programs that now have nearly 30% fewer education majors. This “great reform” that appears on paper is not being implemented in many Mississippi classrooms. The award will be presented on June 30, in Washington, D.C. Our reporters bring a human face to policy’s impact on everyday Mississippians by listening more closely and understanding those who live in Mississippi. To ensure that our work is aligned with the priorities and needs of all Mississippians, we are listening to you. Click the button below to let us know what you think.