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ERIC Number: ED405148
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Nov
Pages: 16
Abstractor: N/A
Culture, Community, and Schooling in Delta County: State Assistance and School Change in Schools That Would Never Change.
Phillips, Jeanne; And Others
This paper describes efforts to improve education in a poor rural Mississippi school district that failed to meet minimum state educational standards. Part of the Mississippi Delta, the county school district is rural and agricultural, contains no large towns or cities, and is characterized by declining population and pervasive poverty. African Americans make up 60 percent of the population but virtually all of the public school enrollment. In 1995 the district was placed on probation due to low standardized test scores, and state education officials and educational consultants came to the district to assist with a 15-month improvement period. Strategies included narrowing the focus of the curriculum and aligning it with the state mandated test, the Iowa Test of Basic Skills; repairing and cleaning badly deteriorated school buildings; providing principal workshops on assessment practices and building maintenance; providing teachers with professional development on implementation of new curricula and instructional techniques and development of instructional units; aligning activities in the computer lab with curriculum objectives; and training a cadre of teachers in reading skills. Obstacles to change included buildings in very bad condition, lack of air conditioning in the oppressive delta heat, endless delays in repairs and equipment installation, hiring of ill-qualified teachers due to the shortage of applicants, and negative attitudes. Although a few teachers and administrators desired to move mountains, many teachers exhibited a tolerance for lack of order, harshness toward children, and acceptance of poor student achievement. (SV)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Mississippi
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A