Q. What was the process to adopt the new standards?
A. Mississippi went through the same process it always does when adopting new academic standards. The Mississippi Board of Education opened the process for public comment before adopting the standards in August 2010.
Q. Was there any public notice given prior to adoption of CCSS?
Q. Was adoption of CCSS required to compete for a Race To The Top grant?
A. Answers to the above questions can be found in interim state superintendent’s response to questions from the Mississippi Senate Conservative Coalition. From the MDE home page, go to Hot Topics at the bottom left of the page, and it will be the first item.
Q. Has there been any research to show that these standards will help students become college- and career-ready?
A. When educators talk about standards, they must remember that different meanings can be applied to the term standards. The state determines academic standards–the goals for what students should learn—but local school districts may build on these standards. Local school districts choose the curriculum–what is taught and how it is taught–in each classroom, as well as resources needed for teaching and learning. Each teacher determines his/her own instructional strategies to help students meet the standards. The standards, in and of themselves, are simply goal statements; it is what happens in the classroom that will impact student performance.
However, the proof of potentially different results is found in Mississippi’s past results. Historical data for Mississippi’s student outcomes show that every time Mississippi has raised the performance standards (or increased the rigor of statewide assessments) for student expectations, student results rose (often after an initial decrease due to the new standards). With the implementation of college- and career-ready standards and assessments to measure results, the education community in Mississippi will again rise to the challenge.
Q. What will Mississippi Common Core Standards mean to students and parents?
A. With the CCSS, parents will know exactly what their children should learn by the end of each grade level.
- The new standards are more rigorous and students will be learning important concepts in earlier grades.
- The Common Core shifts focus from high school completion to college- and career-readiness for every student.
- When the standards are fully implemented, parents will see that each grade covers fewer topics, but teaches content in much greater depth.
- Curriculum and assessments are evolving to align with the Common Core.
- With the standards, parents can be assured that their children are learning to the same high-quality standards as other students across the country.
- New tests will measure learning under CCSS. These tests will be more difficult, which will mean that statewide scores will probably be lower initially.
Q. Will these standards impact other subjects students learn?
A. English teachers will still teach their students literature as well as literary non‐fiction. However, because college and career readiness overwhelming focuses on complex texts outside of literature, these standards also ensure students are being prepared to read, write, and research across the curriculum, including in history and science. These goals can be achieved by ensuring that teachers in other disciplines are also focusing on reading and writing to build knowledge within their subject areas.
Q. Will private and home schools need to adopt CCSS?
A. No. Private schools accredited by the MDE are not required to adopt CCSS.