PETAL, MS (WDAM) - When talking about improvements in education, Bill Jones says the best place to start is Mississippi.
"For a state like Mississippi, you look at our numbers," says Jones, who serves on the Board of Education for the state Department of Education. "Although we have some really nicely performing schools, as a state, we don't do that well. Our numbers are tanking at the bottom in many, if not all, of the categories."
Jones says this is just one reason that Mississippi chose to adopt Common Core State Standards.
"Common Core is a great opportunity for Mississippi schools to catch up," says Jones. "There's no conspiracy. The only effort is to make sure education is better."
The standards were voluntarily adopted by the Mississippi Department of Education in 2010. Mississippi joins 45 other states in implementing these standards.
"With this curricula, at least we know everybody has a chance to be taught at the same level as a child nationwide on math and science and English and things like that," says Jones.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, Mississippi fourth and eighth graders ranked forty ninth in math in 2012. The same goes for eighth graders in reading. Jones says the hope is that by placing our students under the same standards as other students across the country, the scores Mississippi receives will be comparable to other states.
Mississippi students will not be tested on Common Core State Standards until the 2014-2015 school year.