Renee Moore of TeachMoore was disappointed that President Obama chose to use the children of Mississippi as evidence that we need nationalized standards. A teacher in Mississippi, Moore says that while the problems are very serious, the causes of one state’s educational problems aren’t necessarily the same as another’s.
The comparison of the performance of fourth graders in Mississippi to those in Wyoming focuses attention on the symptoms, not the causes of educational inequity. The problem is NOT that the two states have differently written standards …
Average pay for teachers in Wyoming (5th in the nation) in 2006-07 was $50,771, while Mississippi teachers only averaged $40,182 (47th in nation). All of these disparities have their roots in Mississippi's sad history of racial discrimination and its sibling: opposition to progress.
Moore says that, as a result, the solutions that will work for one state won’t necessarily help another.
Improving the quality of education for all our children is a national priority, but a localized task. It requires the knowledgeable contributions of many parties, most notably the parents and teachers of a given state or community.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Blogboard blog.