Community needs to support schools

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 17, 2004

The alphabet soup that makes up the federal No Child Left Behind Act &045; with terms such as &uot;AYP,&uot; or &uot;adequate yearly progress&uot; &045; can be confusing for teachers and parents alike.

But what’s at the heart of the act &045; or, perhaps more important, at the heart of what local school leaders are trying to do &045; is a desire to improve students’ performance.

Natchez-Adams Schools accountability results from the state show a mixed bag of success and need for improvement. For one thing, Robert Lewis Middle School moved from a Level 2 &045; or underperforming &045; school to a Level 3 &045; or successful &045; school.

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Yet the school did not meet its &uot;adequate yearly progress&uot; goal for two years in a row and must move into a phase called school improvement.

The confusing nature of these terms shows that what’s on the surface of these state and federal reports is not always a good judge of how well or how poorly a school is doing.

What is important is that teachers, administrators, parents and students are working together to help improve our public schools. The state and federal guidelines give us a road map of sorts for determining where we need to improve, but they should not be the final judge of how these schools are performing.

In a community whose economy is struggling, we need to look to our school system as a key to the future.

Rather than write off the public school system as it is working hard to improve not only its academic performance but its image, we all need to get behind the district and support its efforts to educate our community’s future.