MS Senator talks superintendents, Common Core

According to The Mississippi Department of Education, Common Core standards are designed to prepare students graduating in high school for college and the work force. Common Core state standards were adopted voluntarily by the State of Mississippi in 2010, but they 2014-2015 school year will be when courses align with the standards.

Mississippi's Board of Education approved common Core standardized English and Math classes on Friday; however, a few board of education members objected.

MS Senator John Polk says Common Core could be a positive move for Mississippi schools.

"I believe it's what's best for Mississippi right now, we've got to move forward," he said.

He said each school board will have the freedom to determine its own curriculum.

"Most people put is in 49, 50 and in some cases 51 in our educational attainment, and I think that's a place Mississippi doesn't want to be, and shouldn't be," he added.

A recent study conducted by Dr. David Lee, associate professor at The University of Southern Mississippi, linked the behavior of school boards with student achievement in their districts. Polk says it's crucial for Mississippians to elect a school board, and allow board members to appoint superintendents instead of elect them as they have in year's past, so Mississippi schools can excel.

"We've got to realize that we need to appoint superintendents of districts. They would be able to choose someone from anywhere who has the talent it's going to take to do a good job to lead their school."