Mississippi schools are not making the grade. Education Week's annual quality counts report ranks the state's schools dead last in the nation.
The “F” grade is based on results of annual state assessment tests and other indicators.
Today a group of superintendents attending a briefing in Jackson to discuss the impact of budget cuts on low income districts, say the new ranking shows they have a lot of work to do to get the state off the bottom.
School leaders want the legislature to fully fund the state's education formula, which they say could give them additional funds to attract high performing teachers.
The report wasn’t all bad. Mississippi scored an A on accountability, assessments and standards.
State School Superintendent Dr. Carey Wright responded to the report. “We have an historic opportunity to chart a new course for our students.”Dr. Wright also says “We must forge ahead with supporting higher expectations for our students, providing technical assistance and professional development to our teachers and school leaders, and working together to offer all of our students the education they deserve.”
Last year the state legislature approved major school reforms to boost student achievement.
The changes include setting up charter schools in failing districts, requiring third graders read on grade level before being promoted and creating scholarships for outstanding high school students who score high on the ACT and commit to teaching in the state.
School districts across Mississippi are also now using Common Core curriculum, which has caused controversy with conservative groups opposed to it.