Kemper County High School students filled the school's auditorium Wednesday as Mississippi's superintendent of education told them of the high standards they are expected to uphold.
Dr. Henry Johnson said the state board is raising the bar and the students should, too.
"We expect all students to be successful. We've got a strong curriculum and assessment program and if we make sure those things are aligned, kids will learn more," Johnson said.
In his address to the Kemper students, Johnson said the state's goal is to become number one in school improvement, which is a task that requires accountability from everyone, from the community to the teachers and administrators.
"We make sure that teachers, parents, and students know that accountability is here, and that we'll have to meet those standards," said Johnson. "I'm optimistic that we will meet the standards."
Accountability, reading, and early childhood development are among the biggest issues the state board of education is to be successful at meeting its goals.
"There's always room for improvement all over the state," said Johnson.
"We'll continue working to make sure that teachers know the importance of focusing on those curriculum objectives."
The superintendent said the economic potential of the state is directly tied to the quality of the citizens' education. He said that makes what happens in schools now much more important to the future.