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DES Is In The Bottom 50 Percent Of Schools In The State

Dear Editor,

What do school rankings really mean?  

What is a D rating? “Reading, Mathematics, and Science proficiency rates are below the state median for the given year. Reading or mathematics growth in the all students group is below the state median for the given year.” This is according to a publication from the Mississippi School and District Grading System.  To be blunt, DES is in the bottom 50 percent of school in MS.

An article from Education Week, by Deanna Burney notes, “The research tells us that the single most important school-related factor contributing to a student’s success is the quality of his or her teacher, particularly in a child’s early years.”  

I had the opportunity to speak to some of the DES teachers who attended the last school board hearing on June 30.  The only retort, I was “unchristian.”  There are many excuses for a D rating, so many factors are not considered, some say.  An excuse is not an action.  Aren’t we all evaluated at some point in our lives? 

How does a D rating effect our community?  Communities with a higher rate of education have lower crime, better overall health and community involvement.  Lack of a good education often leads to poverty.  Based on the limited turn-out at the last school board hearing, there is no demand for a better rating in the Water Valley Community.   In the high school cafeteria, three rows of seats were occupied.  That is all out of an enrollment of 629 students. 

Water Valley is a great place to live but has the reputation of having a poor educational system which affects the entire community, not just those who have children in school.  I don’t know what the solution is but going through multiple principals in the last several years doesn’t help.  Maybe it is time to look beyond the administration and seriously look at the faculty.  The community has recently passed a bond issue with great public support which shows that there is interest in having a good school system, but throwing money at the problem will not solve it.

John T Robinson, 

Major, USA (ret) 

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