CRAWFORD: Legislators should focus on more programs to develop career skills in high school. 


  BY: Bill Crawford

Legislators seemed pretty happy with the status quo for students, as evidenced by what they passed and funded. New things they did pass – more charter schools and requiring all school superintendents to be appointed – were more periphery than centered on getting Mississippi children college and career ready.

Mississippi has focused effort and resources on high school drop-outs. Unfortunately, getting these kids high school diplomas may not help them that much. The diploma may make them technically eligible for college or employment, but not ready and able to succeed in either.

College and career readiness for students is a national priority. Mississippi has been operating under waivers relevant to this priority under No Child Left Behind. The new Every Student Succeeds Act gives states more control over their standards and priorities.

If getting students college and career ready is to be a state priority, and it should be, then adequate and better focused resources, more and better trained teachers, and more programs that develop career skills in high school must be provided.

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