The Mississippi Board of Education met in Oxford on October 21, 2010.  Many different issues were discussed, the bulk of which consisted of small language changes in different policies and also some new contracts and grants.  However, there were some interesting discussions regarding graduation requirements, the state longitudinal data system, accountability, and evaluation.  There was discussion of a proposal to raise the graduation requirements.  Members wanted to eliminate the credit given for multiple study hall hours.  Many students acquire multiple credits for study hall.  Many students enter college in Mississippi feeling under-prepared and raising requirements may hopefully help solve this problem.The Board also received a brief on the statewide Longitudinal Data System (LDS).  The LDS is a data system capable of tracking student information over multiple years in multiple schools.  Many comments suggested that the state suffered from a lack of organization, but the LDS may be a step in the right direction.  Mississippi is the first state to pull all state departments together using the LDS and ranks in the top 10 in the U.S. in the LDS technology.  The LDS may also be useful in improving accountability methods.  Board members expressed a desire to build in specific goals with measureable periods of time.  They expressed a need for more assessment points each year and also a shortage of measuring points in the state mandates.  The LDS system can be used to address these problems and allow the state to identify who is responsible in school and student shortcomings.

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