Though recognized as one of the more conservative states of the US, Mississippi nevertheless adopted the Common Core standards on June 28, 2010. Following the predictable outcry that has occurred across every state fearing for the sanctity of its independence from federal educational reach, Mississippi lawmakers have managed to hold on to the Core through the simple tactic of rebranding. While it’s impossible to say just what the future holds regarding Mississippi’s stance, it is currently working its hardest to educate the parents, more than the students, to at least do away with the fear mongering that has followed the Core around.
What’s in a Name?
Ever since the Core’s adoption in 2010, bills have been appearing to try and repeal them, citing the federal government overstepping its bounds. In Mississippi, at least, the opponents cite teaching to the slower students, data mining and inappropriate subject matters as some of the main threats to students now appearing following the adoption of this set of standards. Even so, legislature prefer the opinions of the actual educators rather than those that have never spent a day teaching. This is why so many of the bills that would veto the program have gone on to fail, even one that appeared earlier this year.
To make the Common Core less scary, the state is doing what it can to remove the stigma that comes from its name. While parents are very much against the Common Core, far fewer oppose Mississippi’s College and Career Readiness Standards. This name change occurred in light of how Tennessee handled their Common Core conundrum. It seems that altering a program’s title is far more effective for holding an honest discourse rather than triggering emotional responses.
In addition to the name change, the state has opened up a public comment period. During this time, Mississippi can hold an honest discourse with its public where educators can answer any and all questions related to a program that they’ve been working with for half a decade now. More importantly, though, they’re painting a clear picture of the difference between standards and curriculum and how the two are not equivalent in any way. This is proving to assuage many fears, leading to a calmer landscape in the southern state.
The Future of the South
While the Governor claims to be anti-Common Core but continues to veto anti-Common Core bills and the parents are slowly educated on the realities of the system, it’s still unclear as to whether Mississippi will be able to maintain its curriculum. Even with so many opponents, however, it does seem that popular opinion is quickly changing toward supporting the standards. It may be safe to say that so long as no crazy alterations happen during the next five years, Mississippi’s version of the Common Core is here to stay.