The State Board of Education (SBE) held its monthly meeting yesterday. Among other agenda items, the board:
Voted to keep the U.S. History assessment. Although both the Student Testing Task Force and the Commission on School Accreditation recommended that the State Board eliminate the assessment, MDE staff recommended that the assessment continue to be given and the state board upheld this staff recommendation. This agenda item was discussed for less than 15 minutes, with most of this time comprised of MDE staff comments. While MDE staff cited additional policies, as well as the ESSA Plan, that would be impacted if the assessment were eliminated, MDE’s press release on this matter states that board members were concerned that elimination could lessen the importance of U.S. History in schools.In addition to the limited discussion on such a significant issue, it was extremely disheartening that board members placed so much confidence in a staff recommendation over the recommendations of the task force, commission, and multiple surveys of practitioners throughout the state that favored elimination of the assessment by a roughly 3:1 margin, especially given the teacher shortage in our state.
Released high school graduation rates for the 2018-19 school year, which show the state’s graduation rate has hit an all-time high of 85%. The graduation rate for students with disabilities nearly doubled from 23.2% in 2014 to 42.2% this year. Visit www.mdek12.org/OPR/Reporting/Accountability for district level results.
Approved the Carl D. Perkins Sate Plan. Mississippi currently splits these federal funds 53/47 between secondary and postsecondary institutions, with no reserve funds set aside. The board approved a proposal to split the funds 57/43, with reserves designated for career academies. The plan will now go to Governor Reeves for his review before returning to the State Board in March for final approval.
Approved beginning the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) process to revise licensure guidelines to establish a passing score of 148 for the Praxis Subject Assessment Algebra I (test code 5162) and a passing score of 139 for Geometry (test code 5163). A qualifying passing score from these assessments will be an option for adding a supplemental endorsement to a standard five-year license or provisional alternate route three-year license.
Approved revisions to State Board Policy Part 3, Chapter 74, Rule 74.21 – Education Scholarship Account (ESA) which are commonly referred to as Special Needs vouchers.