Claiborne Barksdale, Director of the Barksdale Reading Institute, spoke to the first-years today. In this excerpt, Mr. Barksdale talks about the importance of early childhood education:
Here are some excerpts of outstanding recent posts by various MTCers (you may need to join Vox and "friend" the person to read the post):
Following up on the previous post, here is a great map application from the Measure of America website which published the HDI report, titled "A Portrait of Mississippi." The map application allows you to easily show a lot of data. Simple to use. With a color printer and some transparencies you can create some fantastic overlays. Here are two examples:
Article (hat-tip to Big Country) in the CL about the average life expectancy, and other quality if life indicators, of Mississippians, by county. The Mississippi State Conference NAACP commissioned the American Human Development Project to assess Mississippi, county-by-county, using the UN's Human Development Index (HDI). HDI is usually applied to countries and this may be the first time the HDI has been applied to an individual state. The results, especially for the Mississippi Delta and for African-Americans, are brutal. Read the report here (which starts, appropriately enough, with a quote from Faulkner: "To understand the world, you must first understand a place like Mississippi,").
A resident of top-ranked Rankin County lives an average of six years longer, is almost twice as likely to complete high school and three times more likely to complete college, and earns over $12,000 more than those who live in Panola or Coahoma counties, a new study shows.
Mississippians living in those poorer counties have a human development level similar to that of the average American in 1975, more than 30 years ago.
Those are among the findings in "A Portrait of Mississippi: the Mississippi Human Development Report 2009," a statewide, county-by-county assessment set to be released Monday, broken down by race, of such indicators as lifespan, earnings, incidence of diabetes, high school completion, crime and birth weight.
Overall, the earnings for white Mississippians spans from $22,000 to $38,000, compared to $13,000 to $25,000 for black Mississippians.In other words, white Mississippians worst off in income are still better off than the majority of African Americans, said Sarah Burd-Sharps of the American Human Development Project, one of the authors of the report.
Overall, black Mississippians are worse off than other black Americans, ranking second to last on the health and income index (ahead of Louisiana) but dead last in education. On average, an African American living in Maryland lives four years longer, earns twice as much and is twice as likely to have a college degree.
The report shows how many people are still struggling in Mississippi with shorter lives, lower incomes and limited access to education, he said.
As a school principal, Jason Singer is confident that 100 percent of his students will go to college.
Singer's passion for education was sparked while he was serving in the Teacher Corps in Greenwood, Miss. Teaching at a high school in a rural, predominantly black community, Singer experienced the disparities in the public school system firsthand. The school had high dropout and absenteeism rates.
In 1995, he returned to the Bay Area determined to start his own school, where every student would have a chance to achieve. Using funds from a Fisher Fellowship, in 2003 he opened KIPP Summit Academy, a middle school in San Lorenzo. KIPP, which stands for Knowledge Is Power Program, is part of a national network of public charter schools that stresses high academic performance and is dedicated to closing the educational achievement gap between high- and low-income students.
Read MTC alumnus (and Mullins Award winner [the Mullins Award is a class award with the criteria being the person who best represents the values and ideals of the Mississippi Teacher Corps]) Jeremy Fiel's account of his JV Basketball team's perfect season. Here is an excerpt (you will have to join Vox and "friend" Jeremy to read the entire post):
Great article about universal health care in this week's New Yorker And, you might ask, what is the connection between education and health care, specifically in the Mississippi Delta? More than you think. Children growing up in poverty in Mississippi have limited (at best) access to quality health care. Our teachers teach kids who sit in the front row because they don't have glasses, who sit in the back row and can't concentrate because they have an impacted tooth and no money for a dentist, kids with diabetes, obesity, lupus. Kids who were low birth weight babies born to teen mothers. Et cetera, et cetera.