OUR OPINION: School plans focus on forum

By NEMS Daily Journal

Every school district in Mississippi and elsewhere faces markedly more challenging curriculums and more rigorous testing standards in the immediate years ahead. That’s the result of an initiative of the bipartisan National Governors Association (when Haley Barbour was governor) and several other levels of education officials, state and federal.
The story begins in 2009, when the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers announced an effort to create voluntary national standards in math and reading. All but four states – Alaska, Nebraska, Texas and Virginia – quickly signed on, agreeing to help create and then implement them by 2014.
In late October – Tuesday the 30th at BancorpSouth Arena – Willard Daggett, chairman of the International Center for Leadership in Education, one of the leading experts and motivators related to Common Core Standards, will speak to parents, teachers and administrators in an open, free session.
The program has been funded by the Toyota Education Enhancement Endowment at CREATE Foundation, its official trustee.
The Common Core will require that every district make fundamental adjustments in both what is taught and how it is taught, with more demanding accountability testing to measure effectiveness.
The new curriculum springs from deepening concern about the performance and knowledge of American students measured against students from every other developed nation. The U.S. is trailing.
“What we’re trying to do is provide the latest information on what Common Core will mean to all of our school districts,” said CREATE Foundation President Mike Clayborne. “He is someone who is at the leading edge of the national conversation on Common Core, and we think it is extremely important not only that educators understand the major changes that are coming but also that the broader community does, too.”
Last summer, the Toyota endowment paid to send several area educators to the annual Model Schools Conference in Orlando, Fla., where Daggett spoke. Hearing him led to bringing him to Northeast Mississippi.
Parents and community leaders usually clamor for more authoritative information about changes in public education. The Daggett forum opens the window of opportunity to learn.