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Candidates discuss improving school ratings, test scores

Editor’s Note: Today The DAILY LEADER continuesa special question-and-answer series with candidates in someimportant upcoming county elections. Featured today is the race forLincoln County Superintendent of Education. Both candidates areparticipating.

Voters in the Lincoln County School District will selecta new superintendent this year. If elected, what changes — if any– would you seek to implement in order to improve districtstudents’ test scores and schools’ ratings?

Terry Brister: Parents, students and educatorsare the three key components of a successful school district.Lincoln County is fortunate to have all three in place. In order toensure excellence in our schools, we must all work together todevelop a curriculum structure that provides us with a road map tosuccess for every child in the district.

In order to enhance our educational opportunities for students,we must support and provide the new opportunities for professionalgrowth and training for teachers and administrators. Students mustbe provided with a safe environment to learn to ensure that theyachieve at a high level.

Upon graduation from the Lincoln County Schools, students shouldbe well prepared to either enter the world of work or to pursuehigher education.

Donald E. Case: Changes should never beimplemented just for the sake of change. Before initiating anychange, careful consideration should be given to current studentperformance. We have been in the process of testing our students,as required by the new Mississippi assessment model and the federalNo Child Left Behind law. We should carefully review thesetest results, analyze the data, and determine our strengths andweaknesses. Then, and only then, can effective change beimplemented to improve student performance on test scores andthereby improve school ratings. Lincoln County has the personneland tools in place to accomplish this. It is our duty andresponsibility to utilize these resources, build on our strengths,and implement whatever changes necessary to address ourweaknesses.

Thursday: Candidates discuss how to provide themost cost-effective school operations for county taxpayers whilestill providing the best possible educational opportunities forstudents.