Here’s a question. If the United States’s child poverty rate ranks second-worst among the world’s developed countries, and Mississippi has the highest child poverty rate in the U.S., then how do Mississippi’s kids stack up globally? We wouldn’t even be on the chart.
It’s always been hard to get ahead in the largely poor and rural state of Mississippi, where the median household income is the lowest in the U.S. Yet Magnolia State residents do have slightly more opportunities to become upwardly mobility these days than they had two years — possibly due to lower unemployment rates and […]
For years, Mississippi has wrestled with a segregated and unequal education system where kids often start behind and stay behind. The state’s former governor William Winter (1980-1984) has spent nearly seven decades in public life working to improve the quality of education in his home state.
More than 40 percent of students in Mississippi are not ready for kindergarten, according to the results of a survey released Monday. Mississippi KIDS COUNT, a project of the Family and Children Research Unit at Mississippi State University’s Social Science Research Center surveyed kindergarten teachers across the state to assess their perspectives on student readiness. […]
JACKSON, Miss. — In a sun-dappled square at the top of a bluff, an unlikely group of politicians, civil rights veterans and educators gathered this week to commemorate some of the darkest moments in the Magnolia State’s history. The occasion? A ground-breaking ceremony for the nation’s first civil rights museum, a permanent tribute to horrific events […]
BRANDON, MISS. — Rico Walton Jr.’s mother died when he was 15, and his academic life soon spiraled downward. Infractions tallied up. Tardiness, talking back to teachers, threats, fights. Walton began his senior year an entire semester behind. “I had no learning disorder,” he said. “I just played around.” To catch Walton up with his […]
RICHTON, Miss. — When Superintendent Noal Cochran had an open teaching position in this quiet town, he looked for applicants at the bottom of the salary ladder—those with as little experience as possible. When he needed a new football coach, he wanted a rookie “straight out of college” who would accept a smaller stipend. And […]
Q & A with Leroy Clemons: Nearly 50 years after Freedom Summer, education is key to change in Mississippi
Leroy Clemons, president of the Neshoba County branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), was only two years old when three civil-rights workers investigating the burning of the Mt. Zion Methodist Church in Philadelphia, Miss., were killed by members of the Ku Klux Klan. He did not learn about the triple […]
GULFPORT, Miss. — Two 10th-graders stand over a large whiteboard in their chemistry class at Gulfport High School, trying to recall the previous day’s experiment so they can present it to the class. “What substances did we use?” the first student asks. His classmate picks up a paper with notes and examines it for a […]
COLUMBUS, Miss. — At the end of his sophomore year, Damonta Morgan left Clarksdale High School as one of its top students. He transferred to The Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science, hoping for more challenging courses to prepare himself for college and a career as a biology professor. He soon learned how ill-prepared he was. “I […]