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    The Truth About Education in Mississippi

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    Only sorrow runs through one with a heart’s veins as it is factual that Mississippi does not provide a quality and equitable education to all of its students. Historically, white opposition to education for African-Americans was the root of such a severe and problematic issue. As a matter of fact, Mississippi’s education opportunities do not deem equitable or fair and impartial. In other words, Mississippi’s education system is essentially biased. From 1944 to 1954, the state attempted at ensuring that the quality of both black and white schools were equal. Regardless of this, vast disparities between the state’s white and black schools were present in a 1952 account. For instance, a district located in the Delta spent $464.49 on each white student and $13.71 on each black student. Additionally, the American dream was certainly a non-existent concept in every single part of the United States. Eminent actress Anna Deavere Smith indicates, “You know if we were to look back and how we were in 1955 living in segregation, living in segregated schools, it’s hard to believe that it was America, but it really was.” Furthermore, unfortunately inadequate funding continues to endure, especially in schools with 90% or more black students. The quality of classroom resources appears to be the core difference between schools with chiefly black populations and those which are primarily white. In fact, schools consisting of large non-white populations approximately receive $733 less per student yearly than schools with tremendous white populations. Not to mention that many delta schools have elected superintendents rather than appointed ones– the Delta incorporates some of lowest performing districts in the state. Take the case of Indigo Williams abysmal experience in an elementary school in the Jackson, Mississippi school district. She indicated that his environment “Feels more like a jail than a school. Paint is chipping off the walls. They’ve served him expired food in the cafeteria.” “There are no extracurricular activities for my son… There are not enough textbooks for him to take home or even for students to use in the classrooms, and the books that are in the classroom are outdated,” was another comment that must be acted upon she made. Due to the fact that an overwhelming number of schools containing immense black populations receive insufficient funding, many, from government officials to the state’s former and current students, continue to research the causes and effects of this major problem.

    “Education is the key to success”; an implied quality is standing directly in front of Solomon Ortiz’s quote. In order to prevent the unabiding of this saying in Mississippi, we must first look at the causes as to why the state’s legislature would make this improvident decision. One major reason that the state’s public schools are incredibly deficient is due to the elected vs. appointed superintendents crisis that continues to stump us to the core. As a matter of fact, Mississippi the highest number of elected superintendents in the country. Mississippi Today indicates that “Out of the 144 public school districts in Mississippi, 55 districts, or 38 percent, have superintendents who are elected. Most districts– 89 of them– have superintendents who are appointed or will appoint superintendents before the new deadline.” At first sight, this statistic appears to bring definite hope to one’s eyes; however, according to Dr. Hattie Nalls of the Adolescent Family Life Institute, Inc., “a lot of manipulation goes on” and several appointed positions are resolved “before it get into the chamber.” A second root of undeserved maltreatment of this sort includes the lack of funding for school related necessities in the state. In spite of that fact that today’s day and age dictates that technological knowledge is requisite, Mississippi chooses to break this“rule” in the education field. According to the Hechinger Report, “Mississippi is so far behind on technology use in schools, it earned an ‘F’ on a ‘digital report card’ published this year by Digital Learning Now, a group that advocates for more online learning.” Furthermore, the state’s students are not granted textbooks and other basic items. As the Hechinger Report asserts, “Teachers throughout the state are asking for paper, pencils, and rulers, and posting more than 180 grant proposals outlining their many needs on the Donors Choose Site.” Truly, the causes of Mississippi’s lack of quality and equitable education surely shows that the state’s education policies need amendments to fix its long-term effects.

    Skill adaptations is vital for survival. An education system must agree with this rule of thumb and keep up with every aspect of the changes in the world. Considering the reasons why Mississippi’s education lacks quality and equity, it is essential to also contemplate the gravity of the effects that these students find themselves in. One crucial effect that impacts the state’s students is the disparities between per-pupil expenditure rates– amount of money regarding education spent on each student– , percentage of impoverished students, racial demographics, and the teacher-to-student ratio on the basis of elected vs. appointed superintendents. In fact, Rethink Mississippi divulges that “districts with elected superintendents have graduation rates roughly 4.5 percentage points lower than districts that appoint(statistically significant at the 0.05 level).” Furthermore, “to be qualified to campaign for superintendents in a district that elects, a candidate must have established residency in the district”(Rethink Mississippi). Consequently, districts with a low population… may be less likely to have a highly-qualified superintendent among their ranks compared to districts with the greater population.” Districts with fewer than 1,100 students have a graduation rate of 73.02%, whereas districts with the same population under appointed superintendents’ graduation rate is 63.87%. Another crucial effect that is significant when researching this topic is that it can lead to extreme situations such as ineffective uses of technology and a higher unemployment rate. In Clinton, Mississippi, 75% as opposed to 80%– the national average– of students graduated from high school. On the account of the Center of Education Policy Research David Conley states “interaction with technology is also crucial to preparing students for the tasks they’ll be expected to complete in postsecondary education.” Along with those irrefutable facts, he said “Think about what’s going to happen to those young people when they try to go to a college class that expects them to use new technology.“Without a doubt, the causes and effects of Mississippi’s lack of quality and equity in its education system will adversely impact its students’ futures. This evidently does everything but enable the students to have a positive impact on society.

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    The Truth About Education in Mississippi. (2022, Apr 17). Retrieved from

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