State educators tour troubled school districts

OKOLONA – The state’s top education officials spent Thursday touring some of Mississippi’s troubled school districts.
State Superintendent of Education Tom Burnham and members of the state Board of Education toured the Okolona School District, which was taken over by the state earlier this year. Department of Education spokesman Pete Smith said another group of board members toured schools in Tate County and North Panola, also under state control.
Burnham said he was impressed with the progress made in the Okolona School District. Mike Vinson, appointed as the district’s conservator, said a good measure of progress will be student performance on statewide tests.
The 650-student district had been plagued by accreditation violations, poor academic performance and financial problems, prompting the state to take it over in March. The district was ranked “Failing,” the lowest of seven levels in the state accountability ratings released in September. Those rankings are based upon student test scores.

The Associated Press