Are summer learning programs too expensive?

Families in Mississippi spend an average of nearly $2,000 for just five weeks of enrollment in a summer learning program. That cost amounts to 16 percent of the median summer income for a two-parent household and more than double what is considered affordable by the federal government, according to a new report by the Center for American Progress. Read The Hechinger Report’s full analysis here.

How do state’s instructional time requirements compare?

Mississippi is in line with the majority of states in requiring at least 180 days of instruction each school year. But Mississippi, along with 16 states and the District of Columbia, departs from that majority-rule  norm in one respect: It does not differentiate instructional time requirements based on grade levels, according to a new report by the Education Commission of the States. Read The Hechinger Report’s analysis here.

Head Start centers have ‘outsized role’ in rural Mississippi, report finds

Head Start centers make up one-third of the center-based child care programs available in some of Mississippi’s most rural areas, providing critical child care services, access to health care and early intervention services that children may not otherwise get, according to a new report featured in The Hechinger Report’s Mississippi Learning newsletter. Download the report from The Center for American Progress here. Read The Hechinger Report’s story here.

Poll finds Southern voters want more education spending

The majority of voters in 12 Southern states said they see differences in the quality of education across the South and said states need to adjust funding to improve outcomes in these states, according to the results of a newly-released poll. Read the full Hechinger Report, featuring results of the poll, here. Read Mississippi Today’s coverage on where Mississippi lawmakers stand on funding education.

How one Mississippi elementary school improved to an A rating

In 2010, a year after Andrea Pastchal-Smith became principal of West Elementary School, formerly named West Oktibbeha County Elementary, the struggling school earned an “Academic Watch” rating from the state. At the time, that was equivalent to a D on the state’s A-F rating scale (which has been modified in recent years). Things are different now: Earlier this year the school received an A rating on the state’s new accountability scale, according to The Hechinger Report. Read the report here.