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Editor’s note: This story led off this week’s Mississippi Learning newsletter, which is delivered free to subscribers’ inboxes with trends and top stories about education in Mississippi. Subscribe today!

This year, The Hechinger Report brought you stories from classrooms and communities across Mississippi. From home visiting programs to college debt and online preschool, our reporters covered some of the most important issues affecting education and learning. Here’s a look at some of our “must-read” stories from 2018. Thank you for following along this year; we’re looking forward to reporting more on Mississippi schools, their challenges and successes in 2019!

  1. Can online learning level the AP playing field in rural classrooms?

A hybrid AP course that brings Ivy League professors to rural Mississippi classrooms became a model for the rest of the country after staff members in the office of U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos read The Hechinger Report’s article and decided to visit rural Holmes County to see the program in action.

  1. A university grapples with its links to slavery and racism

This year, the University of Mississippi installed plaques around campus to acknowledge injustices committed by slave-owning ‘heroes’ near buildings named for confederate leaders. Many students said that’s not enough to to help the school move forward.

  1. What happens when kids in rural areas are suicidal and there’s nowhere to go for help?

Many Mississippi children with severe mental health needs have few local options for care. They must go to psychiatric institutions, often far from their home, to receive help.

  1. Desperate for teachers, Mississippi districts beg retirees to come back

Retired teachers are often returning to the state’s classrooms to fill shortage areas as Mississippi continues to struggle with a lack of qualified teachers.

  1. And our must-read non-Hechinger story on Mississippi schools for 2018: “Forgotten and Failing: Black students languish as a Mississippi town reckons with its painful past” by the Center for Public Integrity.

Yazoo City Municipal School District is one of the many school systems in Mississippi that has re-segregated in recent decades: “49 of 145 districts are more than three-quarters black and 19 districts are more than three-quarters white.”

This story on stories about education in Mississippi was produced by The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit, independent news organization focused on inequality and innovation in education. Sign up for our higher education newsletter.

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