Look at what’s right about school scores

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Last year’s state test results are in and the results were mixed for the Natchez-Adams School District.

This year’s state tests included the more rigorous Mississippi Curriculum Test 2 testing which cranks up the level of expectations for students.

With the exception of last year’s eighth-grade math students at Robert Lewis Middle School, the remainder of the students who took MCT2 failed to meet the Adequate Yearly Progress goals, which are part of the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

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That’s disappointing on the whole, but not unexpected.

Turning our education system from its history of struggling academically to be among the state’s best will take much effort and will not likely happen overnight.

It’s tantamount to turning a barge 180 degrees in the rushing floodwaters of the Mississippi River. Making progress will take slow, deliberate moves.

Rather than focus on what isn’t working and fussing about how horrible our public school system is, our community would be wise to make a big deal out of the students who did pass the AYP goals.

Better yet, we need to examine what, exactly, the teachers of those children are doing different than other teachers. Obviously, they’re doing something that is working. We need to find that and emulate it elsewhere.

The MCT2 test results are disappointing, however, the results are the results. Fussing over them cannot change things. We as a community must combine forces and begin holding administrators and teachers accountable for improving performance, but all of that starts with a nurturing, we’re-all-in-this-together attitude toward public education.

Anything short of that just won’t work, and we’ll likely see little progress.