Community must step up for education

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Julie Finley’s article (Natchez High students failing at high rates) on Jan. 18, is very disturbing. I have read the comments online and I am at a loss for a solution.

However, it seems to be the consensus from comments on the online edition of The Natchez Democrat that some students and parents are the problem. Of course, the comments may be more opinion not reality.

If indeed that is the problem or whatever is the problem, maybe, we should have our elected officials (who appoint school board members), the school board members, the school administrative staff and a representative number of teachers meet in the gym one weekend and come up with a plan to improve the school system. Nothing should be off the table and I do mean nothing. The number of teachers should be equal to the count for the elected officials, school board members and administrative staff.

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Say, next Friday afternoon around 6 p.m., the parties enter the gym and do not come out until they are in agreement on how to proceed with improvements to public education. Mandatory attendance by all parties, no exceptions. If anyone does not show up or leaves before resolution, they are considered fired or have resigned their position. Only bread and water for sustenance. OK, maybe coffee will be available. Bring your medications, sleeping bags, pillows, etc but no cell phones.

After implementation, follow up will be necessary. Highlight what is working and take action for what is not working. If a follow up sequester is necessary, then do it.

One other thing that might be a carrot for the public school system is a program like El Dorado Promise Instead of a major corporate donor, we could fund it out of our present school funding with some local donations from business and citizens.

It is time for action.

Gary E. McCullars

Natchez resident