HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Librarians from across the state gathered in Hattiesburg Thursday to learn more about Common Core State Standards.
The group was in town for the annual MS LAMP Workshop, which travels the state to share the newest books and ideas with school librarians. This year's focus was on the new Common Core standards.
"I do think it's a misconception that everything we have is going to be thrown out," says Oak Grove Middle School librarian Tamela Miller. "That's not the case at all. Both fiction and nonfiction can and will be continued to use with Common Core."
Members of the Mississippi Department of Education attended the workshop to share how Common Core will affect libraries and English Language Arts curricula.
"I think the most exciting part of the changes that we're making is that we're asking students to read more complex texts," says MDE Director of ELA Vinnie Segalini. "We're asking them to read informational texts. If you think about anything you do in your career or when you went to college, you were reading informational text. And it's not that we're replacing literature. We're not replacing great novels and poetry. We're asking students to be able to read this informational text."
Mississippi's standards will focus on mathematics and English language arts. A report by the Fordham Institute graded Mississippi's current English language arts frameworks as a D. Under the Common Core standards, it was raised two letter grades to a B+.
"Our frameworks as they were before were not as rigorous," says Segalini. "They were not up to the level of other states in our Union. They weren't up to Massachusetts and Illinois and Oregon, especially not up to other countries around the world, but this is one step in the right direction."
Mississippi public schools will fully implement Common Core State Standards this school year before assessments are given during the 2014-2015 school year.