Lynn J. House, Ph.D., Interim State Superintendent of Education
Office of Communications & Legislative Support*
Patrice Guilfoyle, APR, Director of Communications *601-359-3706 *FAX: 601-359-3033
For Immediate Release: May 31, 2013
JACKSON, Miss. – School districts can move forward with full implementation of Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in August as the state implements a two-year pause on accountability labels to give schools time to transition from the current curriculum to learning objectives that better prepare students for college and the workforce.
The Mississippi Board of Education approved a transitional timeline at its May meeting that will allow school districts the flexibility needed to focus on teaching Mississippi students the under the more rigorous Common Core State Standards, before the new assessments are administered in 2014-15. The accountability grades that will be released this fall for the 2012-13 school year will remain in place for the next two years, unless schools and districts improve over that time period. If schools earn a higher performance classification, they will receive the higher grade.
The state’s current assessments for grades 3-11 and CCSS are not aligned, which means schools are held accountable for state tests based on a curriculum that will be phased out with CCSS yet they are expected to provide instruction under the new standards. Common Core State Standards are not a curriculum, but rather a set of guidelines that describe what students are expected to know in English and math by the end of each grade level.
“With the Board’s action, this transitional timeline will ensure that the full and appropriate implementation of internationally benchmarked standards of Common Core is a reality for Mississippi’s students. It allows districts the freedom to teach to the standards without fear of accountability labels during the transition; however, high expectations will remain in place because all test results will be published for all years,” said Dr. Kim Benton, interim deputy state superintendent for instructional enhancement and internal operations.
The timeline is the product of two years of discussions involving multiple stakeholders, including district superintendents, other practitioners, state elected officials, the U.S. Department of Education, and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), a consortium of 22 states working together on a common set of assessments for grades 3-11. All data for schools and districts will be published for all years so parents and communities can track performance during the transitional time period.
New PARCC assessments aligned with CCSS are scheduled to be given in the 2014-15 school year, and schools will receive an A-F grade in the fall of 2016 based on a new state and federal combined accountability model. The new model, as required under state law, will be more simple to explain and for all stakeholders to understand.
More information on the transitional timeline can be found here.