Education Woes

The report was recently released by the non-profit Washington based group, Achieve. Made up of governors and business leaders from around the country, the mission of the group is to help all states raise academic standards.

In its latest report the group notes that although many U.S. students receive a diploma, they do not receive or comprehend the necessary skills to succeed in today's workplace or higher education system.

This is why Meridian Public School Superintendent Sylvia Autry says some changes must be made.

"The skills required in the workplace today are so different than they were 15 years ago. They're much more technologically oriented."

To meet the demands of today's workforce, the Achieve group is recommending tougher curriculums. As state education officials examine their options on exactly how to do this, Superintendent Autry says the Meridian Public School District is doing so as well.

"Do we need charter schools? Do we need magnet schools? Do we need small learning communities?" asks Autry.

For about the past two years talks have been underway about the possibility of turning Meridian High School into one of the types of schools previously mentioned. Basically, that means a school where the core curriculum is based on either math and science or the arts.

While a decision on whether or not to do this has not yet been made, if it does happen, Superintendent Autry says the district will look to the entire community for input.

"So, we will be having probably work sessions with our board and we always encourage the public to be there. So, I don't want this to be a surprise when we come up with a redesign for our high school."

Although Autry admits that restructuring plans for Meridian High are still in the very preliminary stages, she says some more concrete plans could be announced within the next two to three years.

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