A Mississippi organization says its exhaustive research on what it will take to improve public education, can be a road map for communities.
Poverty matters and so does wealth according to a newly released report called Truthful Eyes by P3 Strategies. Pam Shaw is the president. She says in Madison County there’s a wealth gap which is evident in student achievement. The Madison County School District has an A rating. The independent Canton School District has a D.
“When you look at median household income, the wealth gap in Madison County is $90,000, Canton in Madison County, $60,000 less,” said Shaw.
Shaw says the report studies six diverse counties where there’s more than one school district including Jackson, Rankin and Hinds Counties. The report found only 3 percent of teachers are not certified in A districts, whereas in some rated D and F, up to 22 percent aren’t certified. Oleta Fitzgerald is with the Children’s Defense Fund, the organization that commissioned the report.
“Education is not just the business of schools. It has to involve all levels of the community and particularly the business community. We’ve got to take this data that we have, that talks about economic opportunity and have a conversation about what is the business model for education,” said Fitzgerald.
The study also found every A rated school district has 50 percent homeownership. Pam Shaw says the report is based on pre-pandemic data from sources that include the Mississippi Department of Education and the U.S. Census.