Voice of the people: Claude Simpson

November 30, 2012 9:58:48 AM



Supports Liddell's efforts 


This is the head-line for an article appearing in the Wall Street Journal Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012, page A3. 


"School's Head Finds a Formula" 


"Data-Driven Approach Helps St. Louis Become Latest System to Improve Grades" 


The system explained in this article is exactly what Dr. Liddell is struggling to implement here in Colum-bus. It is a known system taught by researchers in K-12 education for decades. Dr. Liddell has her Ph.D. in this discipline from Mississippi State University. She has expressed this same methodology in all of her public opportunities, and tries to implement it in every way that she can.  


Let's not look for ways to attack what she does, but try to understand and assist her to get the job of bringing our public schools into line. The recent hoopla about the $75,000 given by Walmart is an example of what I am talking about. In all honesty, I felt it quite clever the way that these funds were raised. Walmart knew what was going on, and the funds were only to be used to help implement a system such as precisely described in the WSJ article.  


Doesn't it seem strange that he oldest member of the school board asked to accept the funds and did not get a second from the newer members of the board? It appears to me that the problem that we have here in Columbus is that we permit politics and emotion to get in the way of educating our children. There are several other incidences of this sort of behavior that I have observed since I have come back home to Columbus.  


It is also strange to me to observe that in the latest planning session for the Columbus School District that lasted a whole day and was chaired and ran by the retired state superintendent of education, that neither any member of the school board was present, nor any newspaper was there to report what was going on. I was present, and what was going on was the State Superintendent of Education running the show was pressing for the implementation of a system here in Columbus exactly as described as an effective solution in the WSJ article that was released this week. 


The data-driven approach to K-12 education removes politics and emotion from the education process and sets the stage for growth and improvement. We here in Columbus need to understand that, and get on with the process of getting our public schools out the failed position cast upon it by politics and emotion. It's time that we let the technician do her job, and help her, by understanding and public explanation as to what is being accomplished instead of simple raw criticism. There is no "quick fix", but it has been proven over and over again that a solid results/reward data-driven grounded basis for K-12 education put in place will make it evolve and happen in reasonable time. Please note that this system not only refers to students, but also to teachers and administrators. We are fortunate to have someone here in Columbus who understands this and is willing to expend the time, energy and personal sacrifice to make it happen.  


Claude Simpson