Mississippi schools adopt Common Core Standards - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Mississippi schools adopt Common Core Standards

LAMAR COUNTY, MS (WDAM) -

Public schools in Mississippi will soon have to set new goals for their students. It's part of a program called Common Core State Standards.

The state adopted this program in 2010 in an effort to develop students who are critical thinkers and have skill sets in problem-solving and teamwork, according to the Mississippi Department of Education.

"Mississippi's college-and-career-ready standards, which are the Common Core State Standards, will provide all students the opportunity for a first-rate education, regardless of their zip code," says MDE spokesperson Patrice Guilfoyle.

Some Pine Belt schools have already implemented these standards into their classrooms. The Lamar County School District has been a part of Common Core since its beginning three years ago, and assistant superintendent Stacey Pace says it has been positive for her students.

"Our kindergartners now are expected to read and write, where years ago, you know, that was a first and second grade skill," Pace said. "I think the teachers see that the light bulbs are going off with kids, and they're actually thinking."

While Common Core is not a curriculum, it will bring new assessment methods to the state's classrooms. This coming year is a transition year, according to Guilfoyle, so the state's current standardized testing method can be easily transitioned into the Common Core test, known as the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC).

"Mississippi needs these internationally benchmarked standards," says Guilfoyle, "to rise from the bottom of educational achievement and to ensure our students can be competitive with their peers in other states and other countries."

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