Posts Tagged ‘Education’

Noxubee Alliance Awarded $10K

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

The Mississippi Higher Education Initiative (MS-HEI) recently awarded a $10,000 Access to Higher Education grant to the Noxubee Alliance. The funding will be used for a new program that will help students plan and prepare for college and to increase the overall number of students from Noxubee County earning a college degree. The program will be known locally as Opportunity Knocks and is open to all Noxubee County students regardless of which high school they currently attend.

“Education is absolutely essential to preparing our students for the competitive workplace of the twenty-first century. We are very proud to sponsor this initiative and we want to thank Crayton Coleman for his tireless leadership in this effort,” said Brian Wilson, executive director of the Noxubee Alliance.

MS-HEI is a partnership between Mississippi State University and the Appalachian Regional Commission working to raise the educational attainment of the Mississippi Appalachian Region. According to MS-HEI co-director Julie Jordan, “There are two keys to the success and sustainability of any Access to Higher Education project. First is the enthusiastic commitment of the community team. Second is total buy-in and support from the school principal, counselors, teachers, coaches, band directors, choir director, and everyone working with the students at the school.”

Sandra Perkins of the Appalachian Regional Commission; Clayton Coleman, Chairman of Opportunity Knocks; and Julie Jordan, co-director of MS-HEI present a check for $10,000 to the Noxubee Alliance.

Sandra Perkins of the Appalachian Regional Commission; Crayton Coleman, Chairman of Opportunity Knocks; and Julie Jordan, co-director of MS-HEI present a check for $10,000 to the Noxubee Alliance.

The Noxubee Alliance is a public-private partnership for the promotion of economic development, tourism, and community development in Noxubee County.

RR: Charter schools a stone’s throw away

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

In Reasonably Right this week I discuss the efforts by the Mississippi Center for Public Policy to improve Mississippi’s charter public school laws to provide that alternative choice for parents. Here are some excerpts:

The MCPP produced a DVD on charter schools distributed by mail to thousands of Mississippi parents. Entitled “A Stone’s Throw,” it shows parents in the Delta do not have the opportunities and choices that parents possess just a stone’s throw away in Arkansas and Tennessee. You can view the video at their charter school web site

“A Stone’s Throw” shows the successes in communities neighboring the Mississippi Delta with charter schools.

The Delta College Preparatory School (DCPS) in Helena, Arkansas is one of 66 KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program) public schools across the country in states like Louisiana, Tennessee and Georgia. DCPS serves 300 students (fifth through tenth grade). The schools cites their scores from the Stanford Norm tests to show students in three years moved from the 22nd to the 76th percentile in language, and 20th to 82nd percentile in math. Teachers and students subscribe to the school’s motto in all their lessons, “There are no shortcuts.”

Curtis Weathers traveled from the football field at Ole Miss, to seven years with the Cleveland Browns. Now he tackles public education in Memphis as the executive director of the Memphis Academy for Health Sciences, a public school chartered by 100 Black Men of Memphis.

“There are two things that make a great school: one is order, the other is great teachers,” says Weathers in the video. “The most beautiful thing about a charter school is our autonomy. We can do it the way we want to do it. Our whole idea is to make school really different. It’s a serious endeavor, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun doing it. So when you think that way, you do things a little different from time to time.”

Weathers speaks of the greatest advantage charter public schools have over traditional public schools: freedom. No one assigns a student or a teacher to a charter school; they choose the charter school. Charter schools do not have more money or more teachers or higher paid teachers or newer facilities. They have flexibility and choice: freedom with accountability.

Weathers says if students don’t succeed, then no one cares about anything else. Forest Thigpen, president of MCPP, echoes those sentiments in a new radio brief on charter schools, “Charter public schools are given freedom from some rules and regulations that traditional public schools have to follow, and in return for that freedom, they are held to a higher level of accountability….When a traditional school fails, it gets more money from the state. When a charter school fails, it closes. Now, that is accountability.”

You can read the full column in the Neshoba Democrat: Perry / Charter schools a stone’s throw away

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