Bennett to highlight Tupelo education event

By Bobby Harrison

Daily Journal Jackson Bureau

JACKSON – State Sen. Nancy Collins, R-Tupelo, said she is excited that Northeast Mississippi educators will have the opportunity to learn about innovative teaching techniques in other parts of the country during a symposium in Tupelo on Oct. 29.

The Mississippi Education Symposium, which will be held at the BancorpSouth Center, will be sponsored by Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves and the state Department of Education and will feature William Bennett, former U.S. secretary of education, as one of the presenters.

Part of the goal of the symposium, according to the MDE, is to provide materials to help teachers enact the Common Core educational standards that are set to be used by Mississippi and most other states, starting with the 2014-15 school year.

Collins said she believes it will be beneficial to hear Bennett and other presenters discuss innovative teaching techniques, including cutting-edge classroom technology.

Reeves said the site for the day-long event was chosen because “the education community in Northeast Mississippi is strong and made Tupelo a good place to host the Mississippi Education Symposium. This will be an opportunity for teachers and administrators to share ideas and learn new ways to reach students in the classroom.”

Bennett served as education secretary under President Ronald Reagan and has long been a leading conservative writer and commentator on American education, culture and politics. He is now chair of Beanstalk Innovation, which merges technology with innovative teaching techniques in the classroom.

According to a news release from Reeves, Bennett said, “Because of Mississippi’s vision, educators will be able to effectively implement state-of-the-art curriculum and technologies in their schools, and in return, their students will walk out into the world prepared to think critically, collaborate, and engage as global citizens.”

Teachers can receive credit toward their continuing education requirements by attending the conference. More information can be obtained at

While the events are still being planned, Collins said Bennett will hold a book signing at Reed’s Gum Tree Bookstore and might also meet with students at the University of Mississippi during the trip.

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