Home Politics The making of the Mississippi miracle

The making of the Mississippi miracle



Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant delivers his State of the State handle earlier than a joint session of the Legislature on the Capitol in Jackson, Miss., Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013. (AP Photograph/Rogelio V. Solis – Copyright 2013 AP. All rights reserved. )

This yr is the tenth anniversary of the 2013 Legislative Session that laid the inspiration for the state’s instructional enhancements.

Ten years in the past, solely 33% of third graders and 32% of eighth graders have been studying proficiently on state assessments. Solely 17% of White, 10% of Hispanic, and a pair of% of Black Mississippi’s highschool college students met all of the ACT school readiness benchmarks. 

The ensuing toll on our neighborhood school system was excessive. It spent almost $25.5 million on remediation yearly. The toll on our college students was even worse. We have been failing too lots of them.  

Quick ahead. Mississippi now leads the nation in studying good points for 4th grade college students. You learn it proper. Mississippi!

Dr. Laurie Todd-Smith

How did we make these leaps? In 2012, then-Governor Phil Bryant offered an schooling imaginative and prescient entitled “Framing Mississippi’s Future.” The plan offered analysis and information concerning the state of public schooling in Mississippi. It additionally provided a brand new schooling pathway. In the course of the 2013 legislative session, the imaginative and prescient would take root and have an enduring affect for years to come back. 

Governor Bryant’s management resulted within the Legislature passing an enormous package deal of essentially the most transformative schooling reforms in state historical past. These reforms included The Literacy Primarily based Promotion Act (third Grade Studying Gate), The Pre-Ok Collaborative, The Mississippi Constitution Faculty Act of 2013, Dyslexia Schooling Scholarships, the Accreditation of Faculties establishing A-F ranking methods, The Mississippi Pupil Non secular Liberties Act of 2013, and College students of Army Households open enrollment in public colleges. 

These payments weren’t only a win for legislative effectivity – passing multi functional session – they characterize the start of a brand new day in schooling in our state.  This yr, we rejoice the tenth anniversary of the Mississippi schooling reforms from the 2013 Legislative Session, typically known as the Mississippi Miracle in Schooling

Since 2013, the state’s fourth grade (Nationwide Evaluation of Schooling Progress) studying scores have considerably improved. In 2019, Mississippi was the one state within the nation to publish important good points on the fourth grade studying check. These college students are actually on par with the nationwide common, studying as nicely or higher than pupils in California, Texas, Michigan, and 18 different states. Commencement charges are additionally the best within the state’s historical past and above the nationwide common. 

At the moment, Mississippi has achieved unprecedented tutorial success and pupil achievement in public schooling.  With a deal with coverage change, pupil outcomes and literacy grow to be entrance and heart. It was my privilege to work with the Governor and the legislature on the journey. 

The anatomy of the reforms was one closely reliant on collaboration and teamwork. Governor Bryant met with quite a few companies and schooling stakeholder teams throughout the political spectrum to hunt enter for the wanted reforms. Teams as numerous because the Mississippi Financial Council, the Barksdale Studying Institute, and Mississippi Middle for Public Coverage performed a task. Schooling leaders from the Mississippi Affiliation of Faculty Superintendents, the Mississippi Skilled Educators Affiliation, Establishments of Larger Studying, the Mississippi Neighborhood Faculty Board, and the Mississippi Division of Schooling all had seats on the desk. Republican and Democrat members of the Legislature all offered enter. Consensus was present in daring insurance policies just like the third-grade literacy “gate,” which ended social promotion to 4th grade, elevated the emphasis on early childhood schooling, and empowered households and educators. 

Early on, skepticism abounded. Headlines reported: “Greater than 5,000 Mississippi third graders may very well be held again this yr for low studying scores (Hechinger Report); Mississippi Third Grade Gate: Worry of Failure (Clarion Ledger); Critics Blast Third Grade Gate (Jackson Free Press); As Mississippi delivers the unhealthy information to five,600 third graders, wired dad and mom say there have to be a greater means (Hechinger Report).”

However on the opposite facet of this criticism and worry there have been outcomes. Governor Bryant stood by his phrases and stayed the course and college students benefitted. Mississippi gained the Frank Newman Schooling award for revolutionary reforms in 2016, and by 2019, the state had moved from thirty ninth to 2nd within the fourth grade studying rating rankings. 

Educating kids to learn at grade stage by third grade is the pathway to lifelong success. Mississippians proved that like most issues – elevated literacy may very well be achieved with onerous work, grit, and a tenacious spirit.  In Governor Bryant’s 2012 phrases: “Our academics, our college leaders, our dad and mom and – most significantly – our kids deserve our help. I hope you’ll be part of me in framing a greater future for Mississippi.”

They did and it labored!  



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