New Standardized Testing Sweeping the Mid-South

New Standardized Testing Sweeping the Mid-South

One size fits all: the Mid-South along with 43 other states have adopted a new way to "test" school kids.
HERNANDO, MS-- One size fits all: the Mid-South along with 43 other states have adopted a new way to "test" school kids. It's called "Common Core State Standards." But many parents in Mississippi are not happy with the new standards.  The interim state superintendent of education, Dr. Lynn House, is on a regional tour to put parents minds at ease.

Common Core State Standards or CCSS are supposed to be more "rigorous" than current standards. The idea is to raise the bar in a way where you can compare kids' skill levels from different states but some parents say "one size does not fit all."

"You want your kids to do the best but is it realistic and reasonable to think that having the same standards are going to work for every kid," said an Olive Branch mother Heather Fox.

Fox took her kids out of public schools this year and put them in private and home schools. She's not happy how Mississippi is adopting the Common Core State Standards this year.

"Right now with so many parents not understanding and so many teachers frustrated it's not going to be a benefit to the kids so we need to slow down and maybe get some more information before we can go any further," said Fox.

Dr. House came to Hernando to address parents concerns Thursday afternoon. She says the federal government did not develop these standards, state school chiefs and governors did in 2007.

"The standards are built around the idea that we want students to demonstrate what they know and what they can do. So really there's a performance component," said Dr. House.

Fox says this program is trying to provide a "cookie cutter" answer to teach kids the same thing across the country.

"It's great to think that we can all be on the same page nationally but what goes on in California is a different life there than it is in New York, than it is  in Utah, or Arizona, or Florida," she stated. "The teachers are frustrated and if they're not happy then the children are not happy and if learning is not fun it really doesn't matter."

"We just want to do what's best for the kids and sometimes that comes with some change that takes us all a little time of adjusting to," said a math specialist for the DeSoto County Schools Michelle Corbin.

CCSS doesn't mean there will be more testing. Instead, tests will be more focused driven. No Child Left Behind is federally mandated if public schools want to receive money. CCSS is not mandatory and it's a state initiative.
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