Joint Legislative Committee on Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review (PEER) releases report on Common Core

On January 15, the Joint Legislative Committee on Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review (PEER) released a 94-page report titled “The Common Core State Standards: Mississippi’s Adoption and Implementation.” The report was sent to all legislators and regional media. In short, the report verifies that (1) improving the nation’s academic standards has been discussed for decades; (2) the federal government was NOT involved in the development or implementation of the standards; and (3) the standards are goals for what students should know and be able to do at each grade level.

The report states, “Over the last thirty years, concern has mounted regarding the quality of this nation’s education system. The U.S. is losing ground to other countries and many students are ill-prepared for college-level work at the completion of high school. In Mississippi, public school students have had a history of poor performance on national tests and a large percentage of students must enroll in remedial courses once they begin college. Recognizing this fact, on August 20, 2010, members of the Mississippi Board of Education unanimously adopted the Common Core State Standards for English language arts and mathematics to be taught in Mississippi’s public schools.”

The report details the development of the Common Core State Standards and how they have been adopted and implemented in Mississippi. The report also addresses frequently asked questions about the Common Core State Standards. These questions clarify how the standards were developed and financed, and they address the adequacy of the Common Core math standards as well as the technological needs tied to the standards. The report reiterates that the Common Core State Standards are not a mandate from the federal government but were adopted by the State Department of Education.

Our public schools and districts are responsible for adopting curricula and teaching strategies that will prepare students to meet or exceed those standards. MDE’s decision to replace our former math and literacy standards with the more rigorous Common Core State Standards DOES NOT alter these state and local roles in any way. Mississippi First strongly supports our state’s ongoing efforts to implement Common Core State Standards in our public schools. To learn more about Common Core, please visit CommonCoreMS.org.