From the Mississippi State Board of Education:
The Mississippi State Board of Education decided today that further study is needed before a decision can be made regarding the potential elimination of the U.S. History end-of-course exam.
The SBE directed the Mississippi Department of Education to work with the Accountability Task Force to research the impact that eliminating the U.S. History assessment would have on the statewide accountability system without changing the cut scores.
The Accountability Task Force is scheduled to meet Dec. 5.
The SBE’s decision followed a public comment period that opened Sept. 19 after the Mississippi Student Testing Task Force recommended eliminating the exam on the heels of an opinion poll of secondary education teachers. The opinion poll favored eliminating the exam. The U.S. History end-of-course exam is the only state test not required by federal or state law.
During the public comment period, MDE received 108 written comments: 27 comments favored keeping the exam, 42 favored eliminating the exam and 39 comments were off-topic or unclear.
Mississippi’s A-F accountability system evaluates how well schools and districts are performing each year. Grades are based, in part, on how well students perform and progress from year to year on the Mississippi Academic Assessment Program tests for English language arts and mathematics. Accountability grades for high schools and districts also include the four-year graduation rate, student performance on biology, U.S. history and ACT tests, and student participation and performance in advanced coursework such as advanced placement and dual credit/dual enrollment courses.
The U.S. history assessment is the only statewide accountability measure of the academic standards for social studies. The other required assessments, MAAP and the ACT, measure student learning in English language arts, mathematics and science only.
The U.S. history exam is currently given to high school students upon completion of the course. It is one of four end-of-course assessments that board policy requires students to take to graduate. The other tests, in biology, algebra I and English II, are required by federal law. Students don’t have to pass the subject-area tests to graduate, as the SBE offers several options for students to earn a diploma.
U.S. history will remain a required course for graduation even if a decision is reached to eliminate the U.S. history exam.
Hinds Community College honored Vicksburg scholarship recipients
The Hinds Community College Foundation recognized 2019-2020 scholarship recipients, donors and honorees from Vicksburg at a reception on Oct. 29 in the Loviza Building on the Vicksburg-Warren Campus.
Click on any image to enlarge it.
The Hinds Community College Foundation awarded more than 600 scholarships in the 2019-2020 academic year. The deadline to apply for a scholarship for fall 2020, academic year 2020-2021, is Feb. 15, 2020. For more information, visit www.hindscc.edu.
Watson named Rookie Teacher of the Month
Dana Road Elementary School first grade teacher Yolanda Watson is the Vicksburg Warren School District’s Rookie Teacher of the Month.
Superintendent Chad Shealy and members of the Curriculum & Instruction and Human Resources teams surprised Watson this morning with gifts and balloons to celebrate the announcement.
Congratulations Ms. Watson! Keep up the great work.
Vicksburg veteran uses Hinds’ Veterans Services to help reach career goals
From Hinds Community College:
Giving back to those who have served their country is the mission of the Hinds Community College Office of Veterans Services.
For veterans such as Vicksburg resident David Mackey, 35, the assistance has made a journey back from personal trials much smoother.
“I reached out to Veterans Services at Hinds and, soon, I realized my dream of going into commercial aviation was not only feasible but physically possible,” said Mackey, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who came to Hinds after returning from active duty and while recovering from injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident.
Mackey is attending Hinds on a Mississippi Airports Association scholarship and plans to earn his pilot’s license.
“Hinds has given me the gift of flight,” he said.
The office is organizing a special program to mark the Veterans Day holiday Nov. 11. The program begins at 11:30 a.m. in the Raymond Campus courtyard, next to McLendon Library. The guest speaker is Col. John Breland, commander of the Army’s 139th Legal Operations Detachment.
Veterans Services strives to promote a smooth transition from the military to the academic environment for veterans and their families, often through collaboration with other departments at the college and with academic advisers available at each Hinds location.
“Our department helps veterans and their dependents navigate the Veterans Affairs system and certify about 600 students annually, on average, to the VA,” said Bryan Grove, assistant director of Veterans Services. “Also, we have received the Military Friendly School rating the past two years for our programs and policies.”
For many, such as Benjamin Everett, the first step is help to access GI Bill benefits, residency status, any special academic accommodations, withdrawals due to deployments, referrals to other services both on and off campus.
Everett, of Madison, a staff sergeant in the U.S. Army and an online student at Hinds, worked with Veterans Services to help him figure out his class schedule and tackle his core academic coursework.
“Hinds has helped me find the best education route to take based on my military experience,” Everett said. “They have also helped me get credit for military courses that would apply to my degree.”
Services offered by the department are geared to assist veterans achieve their goals, whether it be to upgrade job skills, change careers or transfer to a four-year institution, said Bryan Spurlock, financial aid adviser for Veterans Services and retired Marine Corps and Mississippi Army National Guard first sergeant.
“Veterans Services is proud of the great strides we have made toward helping our veterans and their dependents obtain their hard-earned benefits and reach their educational goals,” Spurlock said.
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