For Immediate Release: July 24, 2013
MDE States Facts About Common Core State Standards and Performance Measures
JACKSON, Miss. – Mississippi’s college- and career-ready standards, which are Common Core State Standards (Common Core), and its accompanying assessments are not associated with any “race-based” performance measures as some opponents have incorrectly claimed in recent days.
The standards, which were adopted by the Mississippi Board of Education in 2010, are a set of goals that outline what students should be able to know and do in each grade in reading/language arts and mathematics. The goal of the MDE remains for every child to be proficient in academic performance, regardless of race, disability or socioeconomic status.
Under a flexibility request for waivers from the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, approved in 2012, the MDE has set expectations based upon students’ current performance levels, while still expecting all students to meet proficiency. Achievement gaps exist among students in Mississippi as well as nationally.
The annual measurable objectives (AMOs) in the flexibility request outline a six-year plan to cut the achievement gaps in half for all subgroups of students.
Consider this analogy. Students from Brandon, McComb, and Corinth are all traveling to a conference in Jackson. Each student group has two days to arrive at the meeting. The students from Brandon must travel 5 miles each day to arrive, while the students from McComb must travel 40 miles each day, and the students from Corinth must travel 120 miles each day.
The AMO table in the flexibility request simply provides a snapshot of the projected student progress academically, given each group's starting location. Again, the ultimate destination is arrival at proficiency (or arrival in Jackson), but the incremental steps are different for each group of students, just like the daily distances traveled are different for each group of students in the analogy.
“Common Core has set a more rigorous, yet achievable standard for all of our students. We have set aggressive goals for all students that will challenge them and help narrow the achievement gap,” said Dr. Kim Benton, interim deputy state superintendent for instructional enhancement and internal operations.