May 1, 2014 10:37:41 AM
Agrees with editorial
Your most recent, timely and needed editorial regarding the Columbus Public Schools made known to all of us that each one needs to speak out on the critical issues of our leadership in the schools.
For more than 30-plus years I have been a teacher: High school mathematics in Yazoo City, Ms., Jackson, Ms., and teacher of elementary and special education at MUW as well as five or more summers in the graduate school at Mississippi State. This hands-on experience with education has taught me a lot about what is needed for our children to learn and be successful in their real time lives. The educators in charge must be dedicated to the students first, not just to get good grades on the tests but to be a critical thinker, learn what it takes to have a successful career, and to be the best citizen you can be for the good of everyone.
Our editor concisely and in a straight forward manner identified the deep needs of our schools.
1. A school board which makes all the decisions for the students must be focused on the best interest of the students -- all of them -- and not on the racial prejudice of anyone. The success of schools is a critical component of a healthy economy. The people of this city must pull together or we will fall together. A school system which receives a "failing grade" leads to a failing economy, because parents who want good educations for their children will not move to Columbus as long as mediocrity or worse exists here. An outstanding high quality school system is a requirement to grow the economy of Columbus.
2. A detailed "on-site" study of schools that have "gotten it right" should be a learning opportunity for school boards, school administrators, teachers, and school staffs. When Dr. Alma Turner was the Principal of the Demonstration School the students learned and loved the learning. She was totally devoted to the process -- not to honors for herself, pride or notoriety-but to the children. She set a great example for an educator. She did not "see': and still doesn't see, the color of a child or teacher. She was too invested in the self esteem and growth she could help them to achieve.
3. Last and most important is the need for a competent school superintendent, one who has successful experience and a proven method of being dedicated to students.
Dr. Edna McGill as interim superintendent has clearly demonstrated her leadership, competence, people and student skills, financial acumen and diplomacy under fire and with her staff. We totally recommend her appointment to fill this critical position as superintendent of the Columbus Public Schools. Why should we took further, wasting money and time when we have the right person, known and qualified, right here. We have seen her success, she is not an unknown quantity, and should be re-instated permanently for the good of all. What a simple and easy solution!
Dr. James W. Hunt, Professor Emeritus, MUW
Jane Stewart Hunt, Retired Professor, MSU