School board needs to handle issue

Published 12:21 am Friday, March 7, 2008

If Natchez-Adams Schools Superintendent Anthony Morris were a football coach at a major university, he’d be looking for a job right now.

Touchy football fans expect quick results. Fail to put wins on the board and you’re out.

Morris has had just over four years to tally a few wins. Now, the fans, at least one segment of them, are restless.

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Morris didn’t ride into town on a white horse and turn a struggling school district into an award-winning one.

If he were the coach at Alabama or LSU, he’d be gone.

But Morris isn’t leading a football team, he’s running a program that’s been failing for years.

Axing the coach doesn’t necessarily suddenly make a team a national contender. But it will quiet the fans for a bit.

The Committee for Better Public Schools — formed only a few months ago — met with the mayor, aldermen, supervisors and the school board Wednesday, only days after publicly calling for the superintendent’s job.

Many of the problems the committee is pointing to existed or were developing before Morris’ arrival.

His performance should be evaluated frequently, and by those responsible for his performance — the school board. If he’s failing, let’s discuss it and replace him.

But at Wednesday’s meeting, Mayor Phillip West called for a meeting with Morris in executive session.

Neither the mayor nor the board of aldermen employs Morris and he should not answer to them, especially in a private meeting.

Such group management at the outcry of a few angry fans will not solve the problems. If the committee seeks to air a grievance against Morris and his performance, great, but let’s do so before the proper authority, the Natchez-Adams School Board. And let’s do it publicly, not in some secret meeting.

Fixing our education system isn’t a game and allowing backroom politics to muddy things up isn’t going to get us anywhere, but right where we are.