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MDE Changes Assessment Standards

The Grenada School District has made great strides in increasing the level of student achievement. This achievement progress has been measured by comparisons and testing of the MS Curriculum Frameworks established by the MDE (Mississippi Department of Education). The GSD has modified teaching and testing strategies to fully comply with these Frameworks, and, as a result, our District has received a “High Performing” rating label by MDE for the first time in the District’s history!

However, as with most businesses and entities in the global marketplace, districts must constantly adjust to the current environment to remain successful and on the cutting edge. Mississippi is in the process of changing the assessment and teaching guidelines and will, therefore, require Grenada School District to adjust accordingly. Methods of teaching and evaluation will have to be altered to more effectively align with the new curriculum. These new requirements will put a lot of pressure upon our District, but we feel that the students and teachers are up to the challenge.

Mississippi has chosen to implement the Common Core Standards to more effectively align with educational standards nationwide. The Common Core Standards will ensure that participating states will be teaching the same curriculum and testing in the same way. MDE and the Governor of Mississippi have mandated that educators change from the MS Curriculum Frameworks to the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSS). These Standards were developed by the National Governor’s Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers and delineate a core set of academic standards.

The MDE states, “The Standards incorporate the best and highest of previous state standards in the U.S. and are internationally bench marked to the top performing nations around the world. When our students have the skills and knowledge needed in today’s job market, our communities will be strong and globally competitive.”
These 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 that affect student achievement.

These new requirements will be a series of challenges for our District and for districts across our State, raising the benchmarks and expectations in Mississippi schools. These new Standards will require even more focus on the part of our teachers, staff, and administrators as we face the challenges of academic competition with districts across our State, as well as, comparisons with other states and the District of Columbia.
photo of Dr. David Daigneault