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Board says it supports Bryant on teacher requirements, but…

JACKSON — The Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning has passed a resolution outlining its position on increasing teacher preparation program entrance requirements at public universities in Mississippi. The resolution outlines the Board’s ongoing support for improving teacher quality and the impact a quality teacher has on students in the classroom.

The vote came after Gov. Phil Bryant attended last week’s College Board meeting and criticized members of the state board for their opposition to increasing requirements for teaching candidates. Bryant accused the board and the state’s public universities of trying to keep standards low.

In a statement, IHL said: “The resolution states that while the Board of Trustees shares Gov. Phil Bryant’s aspirations to increase the quality of classroom teachers in Mississippi, the board has a different view of the most appropriate way to reach that goal, for all the reasons set forth in the letter from Commissioner Hank M. Bounds to the governor, dated March 5, 2013, which was drafted in concert with the university presidents and deans of the colleges of education of all public universities in Mississippi.”

“The board supports raising the standard,” said Bob Owens, president of the Board of Trustees. “However, the mechanics of how that is done must be considered carefully so that the goal is achieved without unintended consequences.”

The board says as evidenced by the March 5 letter, it, Bounds and university presidents unequivocally support raising the standards for teacher education. While the standards are not in question, the methodology must be sound, the board said.

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