Natchez-Adams School District nearing another ‘F’ rating?

Published 12:07am Tuesday, April 9, 2013

NATCHEZ — If students in Natchez schools perform the same on upcoming May state assessments as they did on benchmark tests given last month, the Natchez-Adams School District will receive an “F” rating.

Superintendent Frederick Hill presented the NASD Board of Trustees with results of the benchmark assessments given in March and compared those results to a pretest given at the beginning of the school year in September.

Students in grades three through 12 were administered the benchmark, which was utilized as a predictor of student’s performances on the Mississippi Curriculum Test 2 and Subject Area Testing Program state tests.

The data showed an overall district decrease in the language arts test scores, but an overall district increase in math and science test scores.

“You’ll see there’s a pattern throughout the district with language arts,” Hill told board members Monday afternoon. “Something is happening or not happening in that area.”

Despite higher scores in math and science, the low language arts scores negatively affected the district’s quality of distribution index (QDI) rating, which reflects the academic achievement of all students in the district. A QDI score is represented on a scale of zero to 300, with higher numbers showing a better rating.

NASD received a 124 QDI rating for last year’s test scores, and Hill had set a goal of reaching a 166 QDI for this year when he took over the district.

The district’s QDI rating based on the benchmark assessments given last month was a 120, which would indicate no growth and give the district a low performing or “F” rating. The district received the same rating last year.

“The curriculum has been taught in these areas that are being tested, so now teachers need to pace their lessons to go back and reteach those standards and items that were not shown to be successful,” Hill said. “So we have the next three or four weeks to get ready, and I’m very confident in our teachers and students.”

The MCT2 is given to students in grades three through eight in language arts and mathematics. Fifth- and eighth-grade students are also tested in science. Students will take the MCT2 May 14 through May 16.

High school students are assessed with the SATP on four content areas — algebra, biology, English (both multiple choice and writing assessments) and U.S. history. Students will take the SATP May 6 through May 10.

In other news from the meeting:

•Food service supervisor Shantoura Spears gave the board an update on the status of the district’s school lunch debt to the Child Nutrition Office of the Mississippi Office of Healthy Schools.

An auditor from the office informed Hill last month that the district owed more than $100,000 for school lunches.

The debt accumulated as a result of schools allowing students to charge lunches, and those bills never being paid by parents.

To correct the problem, students are no longer allowed to charge lunches.

Hill said the district has two options to pay back the debt it owes, which totals $80,129.84 after the district found where a deposit of $15,790.32 had been made for the school lunch charges.

One of those options, which was outlined by Spears, included continuing to accept payments from parents as well as sending out phone messages and advertising for parents fill out forms for free and reduced-price lunch programs.

“Or we can decide if it’s worth paying for a collection agency,” Hill said. “Those are decisions we do have to make because ultimately if we don’t get that money, the district will have to pay it back.”

Hill said because the child nutrition office was willing to work with the district to get the funds, he didn’t think hiring a collection agency was the best idea.

Board member Thelma Newsome said the next step the board should take is creating a policy to make sure the situation doesn’t arise again.

“We will, as of now, develop a policy because I don’t think I understand how this was allowed to happen at the end of each year,” Newsome said. “If at the end of one year a child owes that much, something should be put in place to discontinue this kind of indebtedness.”

  • Anonymous

    Just reprint this article next Monday…..

  • Anonymous

    Tupelo mojo fizzlin? Hill and Smith should go to work for the delinquent fine collection agency whose fines increased from around $2MM to $3.8MM in about 2 years time. School results look similar.

  • concerned redneck

    Why waste paper with this. Everybody knows this already

  • khakirat

    This is no new news for Adams County for its been the same for three decades and hasn’t changed since getting the 1/4 million dollar Superintendent and the 4 or five that tagged along with him with high salaries out of Alabama huh’??!! It again, starts with parenting , religious morals, parents that support and get involved with their child,one main thing is to get up in the A/M before the kids and get breakfast cooked and get them to school is the parents responsibility and not the government, parents should be coaching their kids to make sure all homework and etc. is done that night before they leave for school that A/M, that they are groomed and wearing correct clothes, and other things of good has got to start happening before it gets better!!!!! As far as the 100 grand owed for charged lunches should be paid by the high and mighty school board and sup. if they don’t get the money from the parents !! This has been going on way too long and people should be held responsible that the Ms. state auditor and AG need to know of this for this is taxpayers money at waste!!! This is why a elected school board is needed!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    “You’ll see there’s a pattern throughout the district with language arts,” Hill told board members Monday afternoon. “Something is happening or not happening in that area.”
    Yep, something is happening, or maybe not.

  • Anonymous

    When you have idiots who do not care you beget idiots who do not care. The King’s English long ago died, went through rigor mortis, and was buried. I cannot understand what these people attempt to say. Why are the head idiots paid so much for doing such a lousy job???

  • Anonymous

    a: to strive to equal or excel
    b: imitate; especially: to imitate by means of an emulator
    : to equal or approach equality with

    What is not happening is the unsuccessful cultures, schools, families and people in this country are not trying to Emulate the successful cultures, schools, families and people in this country. Instead of trying to be more like what has historicly been clearly and demonstrably models for improvement and success, the apparent goal is to be different and in opposition and call it culture.

    What can be expected of grown men who go around looking like a toddler with their britches dragging from being full of poop? What can be expected of their children if that is what they want to look like?

    People in this country who take advantage of the education opportunities, who strive to make a good impression upon those they hope will hire them, and depend upon them to do a job, and who seek to get ahead by their efforts, generally do.
    A village which rejects all that, and which fails to reprimand failure and indifference, is going to produce what we now observe all around us. And they advocate that this is the village needed to raise MY Children?

    It is truly sad what is happening to our country, and those who maintain political and social status by being enablers should be ashamed of themselves. But they are not.

  • Anonymous

    What is happening in the area of Language Arts is the ones hired to teach the subject do not know the subject well enough to teach it. We know you cannot teach what you do not know. I brought several concerns to my child’s teacher and principal concerning how I felt the teaching strategies were not working for my child, and I was almost knocked down at the responses that were given to me. When those in authority don’t accept constructive criticism, you will always get the same results.

    Teaching is not giving worksheets and seat work without any instructions or interaction with students. Teaching is guiding the learner and follow the steps in the teaching act.

  • something2say

    Amazing there can be that much debt from charging lunches when most of the students get free or reduced lunch.

  • Justice

    Consider the parents sending their kids to this school system and you’ll understand the failures of the kids. Complete and total failure. I remember when the Natchez public schools were some of the best in the state, then along came Philip West and his lawsuit and everything went to hell in a handbasket. What he wanted to achieve was “equality of education”, but what was actually achieved was the complete destruction of a generation of people through failed policies, unqualified teachers(not all, but many) and parents with their hands out wanting something for nothing(and teaching their children the same atitude of “being owed”). We are reaping what was sowed.

  • Anonymous

    When I read this article this morning I could not decide whether to laugh, cry, or just shake my head is disbelief. Hill seemed to be saying that while they have focused the curriculum on the subjects of identified weaknesses which appears to be yielding some positive results in the math and science scores while the english scores have dropped. I can see where the math and science responded because those are subjects which do not depend as heavily on the teacher themselves being able to present the lessons with proper enunciation of the syllables, correct pronunciation of the words, and delivering all in the correct syntax whereas mastery of english is directly impacted by the teacher’s correct usage of the language.

    If Hill truly does not understand the problem then his ability to honestly and accurately evaluate his principals and their choice of English teachers may be suspect. Several years ago I had multiple interactions with an english professor from the Alcorn main campus and after listening to her pronunciation of the letter “r” along with the syntax of her sentences I came away with a new understanding of what is wrong with the english instruction in our schools these days.

  • Anonymous

    So, let’s give them more tax payer dollars to start a new school with absolutely no requirements or regulations. Brilliant! The new school needs to have GPA and behavioral requirements to even apply or you will just have a really expensive, failing school. The parents don’t care or they would be up in arms. Free breakfast, lunch, and daycare is the way the majority view this public school system. My heart breaks for these poor kids and the teachers who really do care.

  • Anonymous

    By Monday, this will be good news.

  • Anonymous

    There are more Americans dependent on the federal government than ever before in U.S. history. According to the Survey of Income and Program Participation conducted by the U.S. Census, well over 100 million Americans are enrolled in at least one welfare program run by the federal government. Many are enrolled in more than one. That is about a third of the entire population of the country. Sadly, that figure does not even include Social Security or Medicare. Today the federal government runs almost 80 different “means-tested welfare programs”, and almost all of those programs have experienced substantial growth in recent years. Yes, we will always need a “safety net” for those that cannot take care of themselves, but it is absolutely ridiculous that the federal government is financially supporting one-third of all Americans. How much farther do things really need to go before we finally admit that we have become a socialist nation? At the rate we are going, it will not be too long before half the nation is on welfare. Unfortunately, we will likely never get to that point because the gigantic debt that we are currently running up will probably destroy our financial system before that ever happens.

    It is really hard to believe how rapidly some of these federal welfare programs have grown.

    For example, the number of Americans on food stamps has grown from about 17 million in 2000 to 31.9 million when Barack Obama took office to 46.4 million today.

    The federal government spent a staggering 71.8 billion dollars on the food stamp program in 2011.

    That sure is a lot of money to spend on food.

    And I thought that my grocery bills were high.

    Medicaid is also growing like crazy.

    The number of Americans on Medicaid grew from 34 million in 2000 to 54 million in 2011.

    Once upon a time, Medicaid was supposed to help the poorest of the poor get medical care. In fact, back in 1965 only about one out of every 50 Americans was on Medicaid.

  • vilou09

    Obviously, everyone gets free lunches, regardless of whether they qualify or not.

  • vilou09


  • Anonymous

    Rights and responsibility go hand in hand. Rights are defined as legal, social, or ethical principles of freedom or entitlement. Responsibility is defined as being answerable, or accountable for something within one’s power, control, or management. You can scream for rights all day long but in the end, personal responsibility is required, and seems to be the missing element here.

  • Anonymous

    If you elect a school board, those that get elected are the same ones who can’t get out of bed to fix breakfast and dress their kids for school. You get what you see.

  • khakirat

    I have to agree but something has got to change with this board that raises taxes with a drop of the hat!!!

  • Anonymous

    Unfortunately, you are right in most respects, however, this is not a socialist country. Socialist countries population are required to work, like getting out each morning to sweep the streets, work in the state owned factories, etc. We are better classified as a welfare country – no work required, even discouraged. Trash on our highways and tall grass in our medians when you have thousands of people on the “payroll” is a glaring example. How about paying a premium guardianship check since the daughter/son you raised now has a child of their own and living under your roof rather than being self supporting out on their own, or, since you raised them that way, it should be your responsibility to raise the result, not the taxpayers.

  • Anonymous

    My Father ran a pretty big business in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. He needed one more “hand” so he went to a man who had worked hard for him before. The man said, “I’m sorry Mr. $%^# but I can make more money sitting on my front porch or fishing than I can working for you. I’ve worked all my life but that’s how it is anymore.” A truly sad state of affairs when there is no work ethic, no pride in working and earning your money, and nowadays, seemingly proud of the fact they can get something for nothing.

  • Anonymous

    The root of that problem is the fact that the safety net is now doling out enough money that many can get by on the dole. Especially when they can get by with some under the counter money also coming in. Every case should be reevaluated by a different case worker at least biannually if not annually, same with those claiming disability. To many getting disability that could be working, that is if we were really in a recovery that was creating jobs.

  • Afro

    well maybe he was smart enough to know he was going to be taken advantage of