Teachers and professional educators understand tests. Tests are an assessment intended to measure the respondents' knowledge or other abilities.
With that said, we look with mixed emotions on the test scores of Clarksdale Municipal School District and Coahoma County School District.
All of us have been handed back a test and the grade disappointed us. I feel that is the case with our local school districts. Both Clarksdale and Coahoma county schools have Fs on the Mississippi Department of Education School Assessment and test scores did not improve drastically when the new numbers were released last fall.
This paper hates to say teachers and administrators are failing, but it is apparent many of our children are. Educating students to achieve success should be the focus of all schooling.
The solution to our education concerns should always focus on our children and not administrators, school boards, teachers and certainly not maintaining the status quo at school districts.
Our children deserve better.
Dr. Joe Nelson
Whether you liked Joe Nelson or not you have to admit he improved Clarksdale’s schools in the eyes of the state.
A professional educator, he came from a top-notch school district to share his knowledge and ideas for how to educate children with a community that was struggling to do that.
He was unanimously elected by a previous school board about three years ago. And he wasn’t kin to anyone in Clarksdale.
He was audited three times by the state and emerged spotless. He challenged the “Jobs Program” mentality and found very few supporters. He knew people across this state and in the Legislature and could pick up the phone and find solutions.
And this community, in the most petty and corrupt fashion, told him they didn’t want to change.
Dr. Joe Nelson will go on to do good things in education. We’ll see if Clarksdale does.
Your Clarksdale Press Register has a lengthy story in this week’s paper about the shenanigans at both the Clarksdale Municipal School Board meeting on Thursday and the Board of Mayor and Commissioners meeting at city hall on Monday.
Despite what some people said, neither had anything to do with making our schools better. It was politics plain and simple. Your wife, daughter, church member or neighbor is hired as a teacher or janitor at the school and it is your job to protect their job. Forget about children who can’t read and currently have no future other than the mean streets of Clarksdale.
Add on top of that the school board’s decision to hold a closed meeting and then apparently violate the law by saying the public doesn’t need to know the truth or hold trustees accountable for their actions is disgusting.
Public business in public schools should be just that: Public.
I covered the state takeover of Okolona schools. I covered the takeover of Monroe County schools. I covered the takeover of Noxubee schools.
If you hear nothing else I say, a state takeover is not good for a community. But few butt whippings are appreciated by the subject at hand.
We can talk about grades, but it is an inability to manage affairs in an orderly and logical way that the state looks at when it considers a takeover.
It’s obvious Clarksdale has a target on its back. We’ll see if the state pulls the trigger.
People look at our schools and laugh at us.
Industrial prospects look at our schools and look elsewhere.
Parents with school age children look at us and look for a better place to put their children.
Our graduates look at our schools and head out of town, too.
And they all look at City Hall and the people who put those trustees in charge and shake their head.
Maybe now is time the state looks closely at our schools.
Your see, the stakes are high.
Great schools could solve our de-population problem. Great school would bring people to our community to buy homes, go to our churches, live in our city and county and shop at our stores. Great schools are one of the first things industry looks at when considering a move to any community. Great schools would take a bite out of crime and our current gang problem.
Don’t you think residents of Clarkdale and Coahoma County deserve something better?
Let’s look the facts squarely in the face and then roll up our sleeves and “get to work.”
Because it all boils down to this: Our children deserve better.
Floyd Ingram in the Editor of your Clarksdale Press Register. He has four boys who have gone to good and not-so-good schools in three states and feels his children – and yours too – deserve the best.