As an educator for nearly 10 years in the Gulfport School District, I’ve seen how our Mississippi College and Career Readiness Standards and Mississippi Assessment Program help teachers equip our students with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed.
By holding my students to high standards, I encourage them to think critically and apply their knowledge in real ways. I strongly believe that all of our kids can rise to the challenge of meeting these standards, and if they do, they’ll be on the path to the success they deserve.
I’ve already seen how the standards are making a difference in Gulfport and around Mississippi. Statewide, our fourth-graders made gains in reading and math on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, and our latest state test results show that Mississippi students are remaining stable or improving.
Here in Gulfport, we’re proud that 85 percent of our students passed the state English II assessment, and 88 percent passed the Algebra I assessment, compared to 67 percent and 64 percent, respectively, statewide. The Gulfport School District’s graduation rate is an impressive 88.7 percent — higher than the statewide rate of 81 percent and the national rate of 83 percent.
There’s more work to do to prepare all our students for success in the next grade and beyond, but lowering the bar is never an option. If we believe our students can achieve more — and if we give them the goals and support to do so — they will.