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Education Department votes to approve new education plan
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New state education plan is working to improve student achievement.
MPB Staff

State education leaders are raising expectations for public schools in Mississippi as part of a new plan. MPB's Alexis Ware reports. 

The Mississippi Board of Education voted to approve a new plan to help the state meet the requirements of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act. The department says the plan will work to bridge the achievement gap between black and white students. 

Executive Director Nathan Oakley says schools that have a wider learning gap will be called Targeted Support and Improvement schools or TSI. 

"A TSI school might include a school that maybe is a high performing or middle performing school, but it has a subgroup that's performing exceptionally low. Maybe their special education subgroup or their African-American subgroup are performing below those state set target and it's not growing at a rate that's keeping up with those state set targets," Oakley says.

The Board is hoping to get 70 percent of students performing at grade level. The state will provide additional funds to improve academics at nearly 50 low-performing schools. 

Joyce Parker of Greenville is a member of the Dignity in Schools Campaign. She's hopeful the new federal guidelines will help lower the number of failing schools in Mississippi. 

"We can do it. If we do it right, we can minimize that number, but it can't be a process that includes the all. It has to be a process that includes those like she said, CSIs and TSIs the targeted support groups and the comprehensive support initiatives that's what it has to be about."

The Board will accept public comments through July 16.