Change to Common Core Assessment StandardsThe Grenada School District has consistently made improvements in student achievement measured by testing of the MS Curriculum Frameworks established by the MDE (Mississippi Department of Education). The GSD has modified strategies to fully comply with these Frameworks, and, as a result, our District’s preliminary results reflect a high performing rating of “B” for the last two years.
However, our District must constantly adjust to MDE’s current requirements to remain successful and provide students with appropriate preparation for all state tests.. Mississippi has changed the assessment and teaching guidelines and, therefore, the Grenada School District is required to adjust accordingly. Mississippi has chosen to implement the Common Core Standards and MDE has mandated that educators change from the MS Curriculum Frameworks to the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSS). The Common Core State Standards Initiative is an education initiative that seeks to bring diverse state curricula into alignment with each other. The initiative is sponsored by the National Governors Association NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers.
Mississippi adopted the Common Core State Standards in 2010 with the goal of having them fully implemented in kindergarten through 12th grade in English, language arts, and math. The standards are aligned with college and work expectations, internationally benchmarked, research-based, and contain content requiring higher-order thinking and the application of knowledge. MDE states that this initiative is important to provide consistency, prepare students to compete globally, offer more focused professional development, and provide the opportunity to compare and evaluate policies across states. The standards focus on core conceptual understandings and procedures starting in the early grades, thus enabling teachers to take the time needed to teach core concepts and procedures and to give students the opportunity to master them.
MDE states, “ 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…the goal of the MDE remains for every child to be proficient in academic performance, regardless of race, disability, or socioeconomic status.”
These new requirements will be a series of challenges for our District and for districts across our State. As we comply with requirements, changing benchmarks, and new curricula, we will continue to strive to provide the optimum educational opportunities for our students. These new Standards will require even more focus from our students, teachers, and administrators as we work to implement the new requirements and prepare our students to meet the standards of the Common Core.