How well are we educating children in Mississippi schools?
In many cases, we are doing quite well. Judging by test scores and graduation rates, many students are showing they can compete with the best students in the world. In some instances those are isolated schools, but in many cases, there are entire districts where most of the students are highly successful.
But an honest evaluation of our system as a whole – an evaluation that demonstrates compassion for children who are not succeeding – reveals a dire need to change the way we think about public education.
The politically popular methods for increasing the quality of schools are these: provide more money, hire more teachers, pay higher salaries, and implement programs to educate children at a younger age.
But those simply measure inputs, not results. And when children grow to adulthood, their success and fulfillment in life will not be determined by how much was put into their education; it will be determined, in part, by what they got out of it.