EDITORIAL/Let teachers teach
Wednesday, August 27, 2014 1:00 PM
The Mississippi Department of Education released results from 2013 testing and in true state education fashion wasted a whole lot of time and money for nothing.
The tests were meaningless and now the legislature is "holding harmless" schools that didn't perform well, all to prepare for the implementation of the Common Core PARCC assessments this spring.
These are the same PARCC assessments that state after state keeps dropping out of so it's only a matter of years, - or less - if we're gambling, before the state decides to seek an alternative route. That would make for a couple of years of tests that take up nothing but time and money.
There is a push for a Constitutional amendment to fully fund the Mississippi Adequate Education Program.
Educators across the state say if the Legislature spent millions more each year supporting MAEP, then there wouldn't be near as many kids coming out of public schools who can't read.
Their argument is bunk, because taxpayers would just be sending more money to Jackson to be spent on more useless things such as state testing when it doesn't matter.
There is no single fix for education in this state, and even though we happen to live in the county with the best Mississippi has to offer, the state as a whole must find a solution quickly.
Throwing money at a bureaucracy like education isn't the answer and Common Core isn't about to solve anything.
Common Core is an effort by the Obama administration to set national standards and test public schools, turning a blind eye to the unique nature of teaching and learning, especially to the fact that education is a quintessentially local issue.
Cash-starved states like Mississippi were bribed into the program by tying acceptance to education funding and waivers in exchange for adopting unseen instructional standards.
Madison County Superintendent of Education Ronnie McGehee declared a "year of uncertainty" in Mississippi public education.
"Why in the world are we still taking state testing if it isn't going to count," McGehee asked as state test scores were released Tuesday and officials said they don't matter. "We don't get an answer, other than the federal government...under No Child Left Behind..."
Common Core was voluntarily adopted by the state of Mississippi in 2010, but this intrusive initiative isn't the answer.
Let teachers teach!