The lesson plan at the Marriott in downtown Jackson is to make sure lesson plans in Mississippi classrooms are more productive, especially to students who are about to put their high school careers behind them.
"We want to make sure that every student that walks across the stage is prepared for either college or the work world," said former governor Ronnie Musgrove.
Once the classroom tests are done, those high school seniors are set to face a much larger test, one Musgrove says many just may not be prepared for.
"More and more students are having to take remedial courses in college. We shouldn't be having to do that," said Musgrove.
Currently there's no national measure to determine whether twelfth graders are academically prepared for college or job training. State superintendent of education, Dr. Tom Burnham, says even with no gauge, it's clear there's a problem, needing to be erased.
"We clearly recognize that with the level of dropouts that we have today, things are not working as things should work," said Burnham.
Burnham says the department of education is working to change classroom structure to ensure better performance and even reduce dropout rates. Musgrove says while early childhood education plays a key at the beginning, the end result needs to be just as heavily invested in, especially if Mississippi wants to compete.
"More and more companies look at the training capacity and the educational level as they're looking to locate. If a state has a more productive workforce, they have an advantage on other states," said Musgrove. "In Mississippi, we want to have the advantage."
"That places people in the economy producing wealth and income," said Burnham.
To lay the foundation, state and educational leaders are meeting to put efforts in place thanks to the National Assessment Governing Board, but getting there, much like graduation, is only the beginning.
According to the assessment board, reading and mathematics are the two areas where high school seniors need the most proficiency.
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