Website ranking of school not important

Published 12:01am Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Part of being a good manager is knowing how to put out fires and knowing when to walk right on by without getting scorched.

Recently, someone yelled “fire” in the proverbial auditorium of the Natchez-Adams School District.

An out-of-town website labeled Natchez High School the seventh worst school in the nation.

The website is not an accrediting agency. It’s not sanctioned by the U.S. Department of Education. It’s not a non-profit that works for the common good. In short, it’s not anything.

Natchez-Adams School District Superintendent Frederick Hill knows that, and he’s opted to, appropriately, walk right on by this fire.

He has other, bigger and more dangerous fires to fight, for sure.

Unfortunately, in the circus of public opinion, all fires can be problematic.

Whether the NASD believes the rating has any credibility or not, some members of the public will. A city alderwoman’s move to question the site in a public meeting only, well, added fuel to the fire.

Hill is wise to devote little to none of his time to the ranking. We want him working on other things.

But someone in the district could, and should, release a formal statement to the public outlining why administrators feel the report is inaccurate and unimportant. Included in the message could be mentions of the district’s official state accountability ratings and actions in place to make improvements.

None of the Natchez schools are the worst in the nation, but that doesn’t mean the schools are where they should be, either.

We have work to do — as a community — to improve them. Let’s move on from silly website rankings and focus on the fires that truly need fighting.