Jackie Mader

Mississippi sees improvement in AP scores, but still last in the nation

More low-income and black students in Mississippi are passing college-level Advanced Placement exams in high school although pass rates for students overall remain low and stagnant, according to a report released Wednesday. The College Board’s 10th annual Report to the Nation examines trends in participation and performance on Advanced Placement (AP) exams across the country. […]

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A shorter school year and mandatory homework: What Mississippi’s lawmakers are proposing for education this year

JACKSON, Miss.—Lawmakers in Mississippi have proposed more than 200 education laws for the 2014 session, in what is poised to be the second consecutive legislative session with a heavy focus on schools. As expected, many of the bills touch on the most contentious national and statewide issues in education, like grade-level standards, teacher pay and […]

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In Mississippi, small glimmers of hope and opportunity

It’s always been hard to get ahead in the largely poor and rural state of Mississippi, where the median household income is the lowest in the U.S. Yet Magnolia State residents do have slightly more opportunities to become upwardly mobility these days than they had two years — possibly due to lower unemployment rates and […]

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A new model for teacher preparation in California?

For years, California has attempted to reform its teacher preparation programs to better prepare new teachers for the classroom. Alternative routes have popped up to offer aspiring teachers, in many cases, a less expensive and faster route to teaching. The state’s extensive performance exams for teacher candidates have served as a model for the rest […]

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Survey: Mississippi kids unprepared for kindergarten

More than 40 percent of students in Mississippi are not ready for kindergarten, according to the results of a survey released Monday. Mississippi KIDS COUNT, a project of the Family and Children Research Unit at Mississippi State University’s Social Science Research Center surveyed kindergarten teachers across the state to assess their perspectives on student readiness. […]

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Report: Most third-graders behind in cognitive development

Nearly 65 percent of third-graders lack the cognitive skills and knowledge necessary to succeed academically, according to the results of “The First Eight Years,” a report released Monday. The Annie E. Casey foundation, a non-profit child advocacy organization, analyzed data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal study, which began to track 13,000 kindergarten students during the […]

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Study: New teachers more educated, of higher caliber

Teaching may be attracting a more academically successful group of people compared to previous years, according to a new study released Wednesday. Two researchers at the University of Washington examined four national data sets to determine how the characteristics of first-year teachers changed between 1993 and 2010. The study found that more new teachers have […]

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Head Start hit hardest by federal shutdown, but other education programs face problems in long term

For the short term, most schools will likely be unaffected by the federal government shutdown that went into effect today. But if the impasse in Congress lasts a long time, schools may feel the financial squeeze. The shutdown is a result of the House and Senate’s failure to agree on a funding bill, which forced […]

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Preschool proposal faces doubts, opposition

The U.S. Department of Education released estimates last week of the amount of federal funding each state is poised to receive if they opt into the Preschool for All program, part of the Obama Administration’s push to provide pre-k to every low and moderate-income four-year-old in America. The proposal has been hailed by early education […]

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After five tries in five years, Mississippi expands charters

Lawmakers in Mississippi passed legislation on Wednesday that will expand charter schools in the state, a victory for supporters who have made five attempts in five years to change the state’s current charter school law. The bill would allow the publicly-funded, privately-run schools to open in low-performing districts, and would give school boards in high-performing […]

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