Lowered expectations results in lowered results every time

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 26, 2008

I am writing in reference to the lowering of the grading scale at the Vicksburg Warren School District. There are several points I would like taken into consideration before this move.

First was the superintendent saying the schools voted overwhelmingly for this? This is difficult to understand because no votes were ever counted at the individual schools. No vote on anything that is said to be overwhelming has ever been counted by teachers at their own school and submitted to the main office. Warren Central was said to have voted for the intercessions scheduled this year, yet according to teachers there, no such vote ever occurred.

Second, one school board member noted that she knew too many students who failed by only a few points and were unable to graduate. Would lowering the scale to 64 or 60 prevent this? Would there then be no one who had a 63 or 59? There will always be some who fail by only a few points. All students know the grade scale when they enter school and if they then decide not to do the work, not to come to school, sleep in class or not participate at all, then that student must suffer the consequences.

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Third, the idea of getting a scholarship with low class averages is ludicrous. Those who work hard will get the scholarships. But unfortunately these big scholarships are based very little on grades alone. The ACT and SAT scores mean a lot as does community service and having Honors and AP courses on one’s record. There are those community groups who give college money, but even they look at grades and need. It has been a few years since our district had several National Merit Scholars. Years ago when the expectations were high, each high school would have several. When expectations are lowered and accountability is dropped, test scores will as well.

Fourth, in reference to the dropout rate, grades are not the problem. The problem comes from those who are passed along from elementary and junior high on to the high school and they cannot read and /or have not mastered previous material. Lowering the scale will do no good here except to possibly keep moving kids along and allowing them to graduate without knowing the basics.

Finally, as for the athlete, consider the definition of one such person. He or she is one who strives to do and be the best. Are we now saying we do not expect the best, except on the field of whatever sport? The classroom does not count?

I hope when board members discuss this very important change, they will consider all points and not just their feelings for the student who did not make it.

Pat Engler


It’s time to be aggressive

I am always amazed at the differences in the ways that people look at a problem.

Hotels, motels, casinos and restaurants don’t depend on tourists in the same way that tourist attractions do. We have had three hard years in tourism and naturally all of our attractions could use an infusion of business in order to make improvements.

If I were the Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau, I would be saying, “Let’s get together to brainstorm, let’s roll up our sleeves and work on our marketing plan together.” I would want to visit each business and say, “What can we do to help?” I certainly wouldn’t put the blame back on the businesses.

A big tourism year would go a long way to fix everything and the responsibility for bringing in tourists goes to the agency that collects taxes for that purpose. What the VCVB is doing right now will determine if the spring and summer season is successful. Is the advertising strategy changing now that gas prices are going down? It sure would be good to get a lot of our visitors from the surrounding states.

Ann B. Jones

Mississippi River Tours

Outlets at Vicksburg


Pandering is pathetic

Robert Hitt Neill’s column in the Oct. 19 issue finally focuses on what we’ve been looking for. He has spoken for the nameless millions waiting for a word of hope in this election year. He has spoken for the countless Americans who still have faith in our country and who it stands for. And they have a belief that our future can be as glorious as our past.

Unless we shake ourselves loose from the mob psychology that dominates the news media in this election, the election of Nov. 4 may not matter. This election campaign has been based on, “What my government must do for me!” The result of this attitude has each candidate trying to out-promise the others.

We must approach this election with our minds on, “What’s good for this nation and will be best for my children and grandchildren 50 years down the road?”

Thanks, Mr. Neill, for getting us back on the track to what really matters.

Perry O. Williams


No clearance for Obama

When I worked for the Army Corps of Engineers, I had a top secret security clearance. To attain this clearance involved a lengthy background check of me, my family and my acquaintances over my lifetime. I was granted this clearance months later, only after filling out a lengthy questionnaire and being interviewed by various security personnel, including the FBI.

I have only to look at the documented associations by Obama with terrorists, racists and convicted felons, and I conclude he could have never received even a low-grade security clearance required to be a government employee. However, unless people wake up, it appears he will be elected the leader of the free world, and the United States will no longer be free.

Tommy Hutto


Entergy is Mississippi mafia

I have a husband with whom I share four beautiful children. My husband has a good job as manager of a small factory in our town. Even though it pays a decent salary, we cannot afford the $1,000-plus utility bills we have been getting for our 1,300-square-foot home in the city limits.

We have reached out to Entergy for answers and begged them to come out to see if there is a problem, with zero results. I have seen where the attorney general for the state has taken action against this organization, and I have decided to try and seek justice through his office.

I have had trouble putting food on the table for my family over this bill that is supposed to make people’s lives easier. Until something can be done I guess I will need to resort to pulling out my candlesticks and just praying that someone out there cares. Regards to the Mississippi mafia that is “Entergy.”

Melissa Rexroad


Meth lab a shocker

I was appalled to read Wednesday that the home we sold two years ago (2409 Cherry) was raided and the occupants arrested for operating a meth lab inside the residence. The thought of the home, where my wife, daughter and I shared so many happy memories, was being used as a drug den just makes me furious. It just goes to show what a terrible scourge drugs are in our community.

Jeff Giambrone


Direct donations better

I am writing this in response to an article in The Vicksburg Post on Oct. 18.

It seems as if the yet to open RiverWalk Casino is sponsoring a campaign to bring donations of women’s bras to certain pickup locations around town. For each bra donated, RiverWalk will donate $1 to fight breast cancer. The bras will be strung across the Old Mississippi River Bridge on Nov. 6.

Personally, I think this is disgusting. Who wants to cross from Louisiana to Mississippi and see bras hanging on the bridge? Some man even calculated how many bras it would take and came up with a number of 2,816. I wonder how many mathematicians got paid and how long it took them to come up with this number.

As for myself, I would feel so much better just donating my money directly to the American Cancer Society. I know that RiverWalk Casino is just following along with other publicity-seekers, but Vicksburg is too great a city to be subjected to this kind of embarrassment.

Janice Bettencourt