Fewer Mississippi students are dropping out of school and the Magnolia State is number one nationwide for significant gains in 4th grade reading and math, according to the state department of education.
The public school dropout rate is 11 percent, the lowest it's been in five years. It's one of a list of academic gains State Superintendent of Education Carey Wright talked about with the House Education Committee. Wright says student scores for the ACT, the college entrance exam, have increased and literacy coaches for K-3 teachers are improving student achievement.
"And we're getting the student outcomes that we want. So now they're saying, what can we do about math coaches or what can we do about science coaches. They're now seeing the value of coaching because those coaches are in there on a regular basis working with teachers," said Wright.
Wright like lawmakers is awaiting the release of a report by Ed Build, a company contracted by lawmakers to review the state's public education funding formula. She thinks the report may include what's referred to as weighted student funding, which takes into consideration the individualized needs of the child.
"It's more expensive to educate children with special needs or English language learners and even gifted children really," said Wright.
Chair of the House Education Committee Republican John Moore of Brandon says education reforms like coaching are working and says the state will spend more than 2.5 billion dollars funding education this year.
"And I think you're going to see more and more of that. There's nothing on anybody's mind about backing up," said Moore.
Despite the upbeat report from Superintendent Carey Wright. A newly released study by the Education Week Research Center gives the state a D in K-12 achievement.