NP School Improvement

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 25, 2007

Improving NP schools in whole county’s interest

If there was any doubt that the State Department of Education is serious about correcting deficiencies in the North Panola School District, Dr. Hank Bounds surely dispelled it Tuesday.

The state superintendent of education was courteous but blunt as he recited the numerous findings compiled in a Leadership Accountability Audit Report which led to downgrading of the district’s accreditation to “advised.”

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The state superintendent said that numerous complaints to his office from parents and concerned citizens prompted the audit which identified the deficiencies. He made it clear the complaints and the documentation their investigation generated were from too broad a spectrum of the community to have been spawned by a small group of disgruntled parents or employees.

Likewise, this newspaper is responding with coverage of the state department’s investigation and activities of the North Panola School District’s Board of Trustees for the same reason. For over two years, we have been receiving in this office similar complaints from our readers. Along with our sister newspaper, The Southern Reporter, we plan to continue this coverage – to highlight as much of the good news from North Panola as possible as well as the not-so-good news when necessary. In recent days, however, there has been lots of not-so-good news.

In past days The Panolian has published stories about the state  audit and the response of North Panola trustees to the report. In coming days this newspaper will report on the “corrective action plan” the school district  must follow to maintain its accreditation. All of this is important and necessary.  Keeping readers informed gives them information they need to help bring about long overdue changes at North Panola.

There’s a lot at stake here. This is not just a North Panola problem. Regardless of the school district you live in, this is problem that affects the education of Panola County children. When one school in our county underserves its students, we are all penalized. We can do better. More than that, we must.