Miss. schools at bottom, but preschools get good mark

JACKSON – Mississippi again ranks last in the nation in school performance according to an influential evaluation released Thursday, but the state ranks near the top in a new measure of how many students are participating in preschool programs.

Education Week’s Quality Counts report gave Mississippi a “D” overall for school performance, 51st among the states and Washington D.C, well below the national average of “C.” The state ranked third-to-last in a measure of what chance of success in life a typical child has, and 41st in measures of how much it’s spending and how evenly that spending is spread among rich and poor districts…

…Mississippi’s “B” in early childhood education was a brighter outcome, ranking only behind the District of Columbia and Hawaii. The grade was influenced by the number of students attending programs, and gave high marks if poorer children were as likely to attend as richer children.

Though kindergarten is not mandatory in Mississippi, the authors estimated that 82 percent of eligible children are enrolled in state kindergartens, the third-highest share nationwide.

Hattiesburg American