A good friend in Meridian, Mississippi, tweeted this article to me and he said, “Thank God for the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal.” To which I add: “Amen!”
Well, you won’t read this in the editorial columns of the New York Times or the Washington Post or the Los Angeles Times or the Chicago Tribune, or any other of our major newspapers.
But you can read it here in the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal.
The newspaper surveyed the usual proposals to “help kids escape” from low-rated public schools: charters, tax credits, etc. and it had this to say:
Taken together, those elements retreat from confronting and overcoming problems in low-performing or marginal schools, which has been proven possible when a district’s resources are fully energized, especially the support of parents and the larger school constituency.
Rep. Forrest Hamilton, R-Olive Branch, a town with schools in the state’s largest public school system, DeSoto County, asked why the state should get involved with private schools.
“Instead of addressing the real root of the problem, we are skirting the issue … We are skirting the issue of D and F failing schools, saying, ‘Let’s just send them to another school instead of fixing the failing ones,’” Hamilton said during the committee meeting.
His point is valid. DeSoto County, a bright red Republican County, wants its public schools to remain strong because the general public school constituency is highly engaged in keeping them competitive. The transfer-and-retreat approach focuses on scattered individual children rather than the obligation of quality education for all children.