Is it fair to shortchange schools at a time when standards have been raised and districts asked to do much more to get Mississippi’s lagging educational performance on the upswing?

Mississippi’s public schools aren’t getting the money they’re supposed to get under a law passed by the Legislature but which the Legislature largely has ignored. State leaders shrug their shoulders and say there isn’t enough money to make real progress toward abiding by the law. Too often the argument about school funding is wrapped in […]

Of course, it has a name that fits our self-absorbed society – it’s called “distracted walking.” Consider it a second cousin to “distracted driving.” The latter concept is one that’s been around longer and is more familiar to a larger audience of Americans. If you drive while eating, talking on the phone, texting, surfing the […]


I wonder if “lowest common denominator” shows up in the Common Core State Standards? Well, it probably shows up in the math standards since that’s how you add fractions. But it ought to be highlighted in the language standards, too, since that’s the level of most political language today, particularly in Mississippi. “Something of small […]

Thirty years ago, Mississippi’s public education governance moved from a highly politicized elected statewide superintendent to an appointed, Senate-confirmed Board of Education, which then chooses the state superintendent of education, a vastly better process. The change from an often-polarizing, personality-centered elected superintendent to a professionally qualified superintendent chosen in an executive process had strong bipartisan […]

It’s a testament to how much politics and political campaigns have changed that in Thad Cochran’s first race for the U.S. Senate, another reporter and I spent the last week of the campaign in close quarters all day, for several days, with him and his wife, Rose. We traveled in a small campaign van, chatting […]

Gen. John Allen must sometimes feel that he’s navigating a maze as he organizes the coalition to defeat the Islamic State: Iran is a silent partner in Iraq but a potential adversary in Syria and elsewhere; Turkey and Saudi Arabia are crucial allies, but skittish and self-interested ones; the very map of battle is uncertain, […]

Common Core can’t be worse than now Common Core has been called, by J. Mader, a “federal curriculum,” the “end of literature lessons” and here in Mississippi a “Muslim takeover of schools.” It is comprised of a “set of math and English language arts standards” that indicate what particular skills “students should be expected to […]

Saturday morning and the wife has gone to the son’s home to help out. Broken families were always something that happened to other families, and we’re still learning our way around this feature of contemporary society. A dad with a young daughter needs all the help he can get. Beautiful morning, but it’s too chilly […]