Mississippi routinely lags the rest of the nation when it comes to educating or kids.
Apparently, Gov. Phil Bryant is under the impression that the federal government -- with everything it's dealing with related to the rollout of the health law -- now wants to try to fix Mississippi's public-education system.
He can probably relax. Mississippi officials haven't even seemed interested in educating Mississippi's kids, considering the chronic underfunding of the state's public-education formula in recent years. So it seems unlikely the feds are interested in taking on that task.
But this afternoon, Bryant issued an executive order "affirming Mississippi’s right and responsibility to define and implement its own public school standards and curricula" and making it clear that "under state law, this core function of state government cannot be ceded to the federal government."
According to a news release from Bryant's office, the order comes as on the heels of the state's implementation of Common Core State Standards, and affirms that:
-the state and its local public school districts, not the federal government, shall determine public school standards and curricula.
-the state and not the federal government shall select statewide assessments, and local school districts may implement additional assessments to monitor academic progress.
-no federal law or grant currently purports to mandate the adoption of any uniform, nationwide academic standards, curricula, or assessments.
-the state is under no obligation to comply with any future federal mandates for uniform academic standards, curricula or assessments.
-the collection of test data and other student information pertaining to academic performance shall comply with all laws that protect student and family privacy.
-the constitutional rights of Mississippi school children and their families will not be violated as result of federal education decisions.
-that, in accordance with applicable law, homeschool students are not bound by K-12 academic standards set by the Mississippi Department of Education.