Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Governor announces education plan

Governor Phil Bryant announced his education plan to Mississippi teachers in a conference call yesterday.  The Governor called the plan "Framing Mississippi's Future, an Agenda for Our Children".

Governor Bryant said he relied on Florida and North Carolina as guides for his education reform proposals. Governor Bryant opened the discussion by stating his commitment to improving education in Mississippi. The Governor listed the following educational reforms:

* The state will spend $15 million on early intervention program. The program will focus on identifying children in kindergarten through second grade with reading problems. The Governor said esearch showed it is difficult children passed the third grade without mastering certain skills to catch up later in school. He said there would be no promotions to the fourth grade unless certain criteria were met.

*Increase entry standards for teachers to 3.0 GPA and 21 ACT score. The state will offer scholarships to teachers with a 28 ACT score and a 3.5 GPA.

*Introduce merit pay in four pilot counties. The Governor said "no teacher will lose any salary in transition." He said a system called "MSTAR" will be used to rate teachers. It will comprise 60% of the evaulation. Growth and other factors will be used to determine the overall rating. He said he wanted teachers to "move students forward, not perform miracles."

*$3 million for the Building Blocks program. He said 90% of children are in day care centers. Governor Bryant said it would be cheaper and better to implement best practices in those day care centers. The Building Blocks program will not be mandatory.

*School choice for students. Governor Bryant said he will advocate a combination of charter schools and "opportunity scholarships" to help students escape "the Berlin Walls" of failing school districts. No public money will be used for the scholarships. The state will allow the student to use money from private and non-profit sources. The scholarships will be allowed for students below 250% of the poverty level and can be used to only attend schools rated "A" or "B". Governor Bryant cited the charter schools in Arkansas and Helena as examples of how charter schools can be used to educate Mississippi children. He said money saved by the students using scholarships can be returned to the school districts. The Governor advocated open enrollment.

*$6 million for Teach for America (KF Note: Good idea. We can't get enough of those teachers in Mississippi.)

*If graduation rate is lower than 80%, district must submit a plan to the state.

*Superior schools will get a "break" on paperwork and regulations.

Governor Bryant closed the call by stating Mississippi "is at the bottom of so many lists. What we have is not working. 70% of our children are not proficient on national lists." He said suggestions can be emailed to It is not known how many teachers were on the call.


Anonymous said...

Is this the whole plan? Seems like very small steps for the problems the schools face. Even if the Gov. can get the money to fund the plan this can only be seen as perhaps making a good start but this won't pull us out of the hole.

Anonymous said...

We are on the bottom due to some historical movements in the century before last. The troublesome slaves got 'sold down the river' and the more ignorant white gene pool drifted westward until we got to the river. If personal problems magnified like debts or criminal charges, the ethically challenged moved on to Arkansas or Texas. The landed gentry intermarried their cousins as to become dumber each generation. We just have some catching up to do here.

Anonymous said...

Governor Bryant has placed a bold plan on the table for the lawmakers to debate. Student representation on school boards would be even bolder, but the legal status of pupils should be enhanced as their student aspirations and achievements are demonstrated.

Anonymous said...

I would have barely made the cut with a 21 ACT score and my GPA would have been close!! I am impressed by these high standards for teachers. How many current teachers are below the threshold? Surely the Governors Office and DOE have that data. And what about junior college instructors?

Anonymous said...

Why North Carolina and Florida ? Why not Maryland , which ranked the best or Massachusettes which ranked second?

Anonymous said...

These proposals sound good but until the teachers get some support from their pupils homes things are not going to get any better. When the parents do not care if their child does their homework, pay attention in class and behave properly the teachers are just fighting a losing battle. I think the parent or lack of parenting is one of the major issues that never gets addressed.

Anonymous said...

I think what the state needs is the parents involvement (a State wide survey to every parents, with facts of where each school stands on a national level, and questions were they want education to go) Having a week with a studies curriculum on the importance of were we compare with other students in the country, and how to improve themselves, with assemblies. We need competition. Teachers cannot do it all.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

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Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS