We Need to do Better
Posted On:
Wednesday, February 03, 2016

We Need to do Better 


Data from the U.S. Education Department showsgraduation rates for each state. The latest data shows rates for the 2011-2012 school year. If you wonder (like I do) where our dear old Mississippi resides among its neighbors, it might surprise you to learn that Mississippi has a graduation rate of 75 percent. What about Alabama, you ask? Also 75 percent. What about Louisiana? 72 percent. So compared to Alabama and Louisiana, we are not doing too bad. But what about the other two states that border us? That is where the gap begins to show. Arkansas is sitting at 84 percent and Tennessee is 87 percent. How can all of these states border Mississippi but two graduation rates are much higher?  

Salary? Teacher training? Investment from State government? Well, it’s combinations of all these and more that aren’t mentioned. Yes, the household income in Mississippi is last. But that doesn’t mean that our schools should suffer for lack of funds. Your children are lucky to be in DeSoto County Schools. This is the best school district in the state (I do work for DeSoto County Schools). But how can we make up for counties that struggle to keep classrooms up to date with books and keep teachers for more than a few years before they leave? It starts with the people we elect to represent our districts in the State Legislature, who are not just being a typical politician and saying whatever they need to get into office. It is not something that will just happen overnight and Mississippi will have the best education system in America. It takes time, care, and dedication. This starts in the community and moves out. 


James Battles 

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