Is takeover best option for school?

Published 12:07am Thursday, October 3, 2013

Next week, the fate of Morgantown Middle School will rest in the hands of the Mississippi Department of Education.

You see after earning an “F” rating for three consecutive years the school is in trouble. It’s been sent to the principal’s office, per se.

State law passed a few years ago allows the state to step in and “take over” the management of failing schools, if it so chooses.

Natchez-Adams Superintendent Frederick Hill said this week he plans to seek an additional one-year extension from the state to allow the district’s plan for improvements more time to take effect.

What will come of the school is anyone’s guess.

The state could certainly make an example of Morgantown and take the reins.

That’s not likely to happen, though, because the Department of Education probably is not equipped to take on managing all of the failing schools in the state.

It’s tempting for frustrated local residents to simply throw up their hands and say, “Go ahead, you take it!” out of frustration. “What could it hurt?” they ask.

Taxpayers feel cheated that their tax dollars seem to be going down the drain in a failing district.

Many people have simply given up on the district. That’s a shame. That apathy only exacerbates the problem.

Once upon a time, educating our children was a community responsibility, one in which most people took great pride.

It was considered among the most important thing that could be done for the youth and for society as a whole.

Today, however, when otherwise right-minded, intelligent citizens consider a state takeover of that duty might be a good thing, it shows us just how far off base our priorities have become.