Teachers’ low test scores under fire in Mississippi

Mar 27, 2013 by

Mississippi Republican Gov. Phil Bryant’s education-reform agenda hit several snags this week, after state lawmakers dropped his charter schools bill and education officials declined to raise standards for people entering the teaching profession.

In a narrow 60-58 vote, the state House of Representatives decide not to invite conference on the governor’s education bill, according to the Clarion Ledger.

And just a few days ago, Bryant expressed disappointment with education officials who failed to raise teacher standards at a meeting of the state College Board last week.

Raising the standards would weed out bad teachers, and help improve educational quality in a state afflicted with some of the nation’s lowest-performing schools. Prospective teachers should be able to score a 21 on the ACT and maintain a 3.0 grade point average during their pre-teaching college coursework, said Bryant.

The average ACT score for Mississippi students majoring in teaching was only 20.8 in 2011. To put that number in context, the average ACT score for all students admitted to the University of Mississippi in the fall of 2012 was 23.9. The average score for all students nationwide was 21.1. The average score for all Mississippi students was 18.7, the worst in the nation.

“I’m very unhappy with it, sure I am,” said Bryant, after a speech to the College Board.

But universities warned that raising the standards would render half of all prospective teachers ineligible for the profession.

After the governor’s speech, the board approved a resolution stating that the state needs higher quality teachers, but disagreed on how to achieve that goal.

via Teachers’ low test scores under fire in Mississippi | The Daily Caller.

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