Weigh in on school matters at meetings

Published 9:54 am Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Parents, teachers, business leaders and others often would like to weigh in on the direction of the public education system, but typically have little opportunity.

They can address the local school board but rarely get to address those who make decisions at the state and federal level. The Mississippi Dept. of Education is hoping to change that with public meetings aimed at getting feedback on the federal government’s law that replaced No Child Left Behind.

“In the coming weeks, we will be connecting with stakeholders statewide to gather their feedback on the types of changes they would like to see that would better inform them on whether students and their schools are successful. We want to hear from a variety of stakeholders, including educators, parents, students, businesses and community organizations. We will use this feedback as we prepare a comprehensive state plan to submit to the U.S. Department of Education,” said Carey Wright, state superintendent of education.

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The new federal law, Every Student Succeeds Act, aims to scale back the hands-on federal role in elementary and secondary education found in the NCLB legislation, according to MDE.

The areas that will be addressed in the public meetings are:

• Accountability and school quality.

•  Measures of student success.

•  School and district report cards, including specific metrics such as subgroup (race, English learners, economic status, etc.)

• Results at the school and district level.

•  Teacher and leader quality

• School improvement strategies.

The state has scheduled seven public meetings, and Natchez and Jackson will be the two meetings closest to Lincoln County. The Natchez meeting will be Sept. 1 at the Steckler Multipurpose Building. The Jackson meeting will be at the JSU Research and Development Center. Each date will have two meetings, one at 3:30 p.m. and the other at 6 p.m.