NP Trustees

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 6, 2015

NP Trustees encouraged to set goals, rely on data

By Rupert Howell

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“We don’t have a student issue. It’s an adult issue,” Dr. Mike Waldrop executive director of the Mississippi School Boards’ Association told trustees of North Panola schools during a work session Monday night at the Superintendent’s office.

Waldrop was leading a session that centered on creating a proper superintendent’s contract—one that will set accountable goals for him and his staff to attain.

And Waldrop wasn’t just talking about teachers and administrators, he was also talking about parents and members of the community.

After questioning trustees and Superintendent Cedric Richardson on what they expected from the session, Waldrop said, “Did you notice all of you are on the same page?”

The group wanted a contract that would  lead the district forward in raising student achievement and stability with Superintendent Richardson adding trust and transparency with all involved working together toward the same goals.

Addressing the stability issue, Waldrop said, “The constant change of leadership has kept you from where you need to be.”

Richardson is in his first year and was selected while the district was still coming out of state conservatorship for failing standards.

Asked by Waldrop if quality applications were being received by the district for employment, Richardson stated that quality leaders were applying.

Speaking of teaching positions, Waldrop reminded trustees, “You can’t get to the top with someone who can’t get it done in the classroom.”

He advised trustees and Richardson to identify weak links, base  expectations and goals on data, “. . .not on how you feel.”

Waldrop assured trustees that school districts with the same poverty level have become high rated or “A” schools and said once the community sees accreditation going up and college scholarships being awarded, “Then you get the community engagement you want.”

Waldrop also stressed, “Everyone you move out of high school, ( a graduate as opposed to a dropout), you are keeping them out of prison. Do you realize that?”

Trustees have rescheduled their regular March meeting for Monday, March 30 at 6:30 p.m. in the North Panola High School library.