In this month’s Atlantic Magazine, education is presented, front and center.
Unfortunately for Mississippi, the truth is not kind.
We’ve known for some time how this story ends nationwide: only 6 percent of U.S. students perform at the advanced-proficiency level in math, a share that lags behind kids in some 30 other countries, from the United Kingdom to Taiwan. But what happens when we break down the results? Do any individual U.S. states wind up near the top?
Incredibly, no. Even if we treat each state as its own country, not a single one makes it into the top dozen contenders on the list. The best performer is Massachusetts, ringing in at No. 17. Minnesota also makes it into the upper-middle tier, followed by Vermont, New Jersey, and Washington. And down it goes from there, all the way to Mississippi, whose students—by this measure at least—might as well be attending school in Thailand or Serbia.
You can read the rest of the story here, but it is more of the same.
What I don’t understand is why education isn’t more of a priority for our state government.
Are we spending enough money or too much? That isn’t the question.
Education in Mississippi needs an overhaul, right now. Until we are willing to blow up the current model — from Pre-K to our universities — without regard to political consequences, we are going to be mired in the same education environment for the foreseeable future.
Is there anyone out there with the guts to try?
If not, Mississippi will continue to be compared to Thailand, where the large-scale sex industry flourishes and education is on the back burner.