JACKSON — The state College Board has abandoned a plan to increase course requirements for Mississippi’s public universities.
The universities had planned to increase the number of required high school courses – mostly with advanced classes – from 15.5 to 19.5 for high school students graduating in 2012.
Education leaders believe that requiring courses like calculus and physics would better prepare students for college.
The Clarion-Ledger reported that the board adopted a new policy Thursday that listed the advanced courses as “recommended” rather than required. The required courses will remain the same as they are now.
Higher Education Commissioner Hank Bounds said some school districts “are too small to offer the courses.”
The board vote was unanimous, but several members expressed concerns over whether the system was abandoning higher expectations and “taking the pressure off” of high schools and students.
“I’m always hesitant to default to the minimum on anything,” board member Amy Whitten said.
Some offered other remedies, such as school consolidations or increased online offerings, to help students satisfy the requirements.
“I find it appalling that there are a lot of districts in this state that just don’t offer the choice (to take advanced courses),” board member Alan Perry said.
Al Rankins, the system’s assistant commissioner for academic and student affairs, said information from schools and parents showed the board’s higher standards would be unattainable for many across the state.
The higher standards, adopted by the board in 2005, would require entering freshmen to have taken an additional upper-level math class and advanced science course, as well as an additional history course and visual or performing arts class while in high school.
BEFORE YOU GO…
… we’d like to ask for your support. More people are reading the Mississippi Business Journal than ever before, but advertising revenues for all conventional media are falling fast. Unlike many, we do not use a pay wall, because we want to continue providing Mississippi’s most comprehensive business news each and every day. But that takes time, money and hard work. We do it because it is important to us … and equally important to you, if you value the flow of trustworthy news and information which have always kept America strong and free for more than 200 years.
If those who read our content will help fund it, we can continue to bring you the very best in news and information. Please consider joining us as a valued member, or if you prefer, make a one-time contribution.Click for more info