Patience needed in improving education

Published 7:40 pm Thursday, October 19, 2017

As most expected, the test scores for the Vicksburg Warren County School District that were released Thursday were not spectacular and most agree that there is plenty of work to do to improve the district’s grade.

The school district has made strides from a year ago as evident from the Mississippi Department of Education release of test scores in August, but as we said then it is disappointing the Mississippi State Board of Education voted to once again alter their accountability cut scores.

Any hunter can tell you it is incredibly difficult to hit a moving target and it seems that each year the MSBE decides to “change the rules” after informing the school district’s in the state what the cut score would be.

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The alteration a year ago, which moved VWSD from a C to a D level (even though the district reached the cut score they were initially told to target), paid dividends for schools at the top, while punishing other districts in the middle and lower levels.

Many local school board members and educators have expressed their displeasure with the MSBE decision and it is hard to argue against their outrage.

To use a football analogy, how can our administrators, educators, parents and students have any trust in the system when the MSBE keeps moving the yard marker? It is high time state educators stick to their game plan and quit changing the plays at the last minute.

At the same time, it is also evident that our public schools have a long way to go in improving. Fortunately, we have leaders in place who realize this and are working hard to make that a reality.

Before some in our community begin to bash those in command, keep in mind there are positive changes taking place in education, in particular our school district being chosen as the only district in the state to partner with Ford Next Generation Learning to institute a system that offers our students workforce training for the real world.