Pascagoula Superintendent supports No Child Left Behind change - - The News for South Mississippi

Pascagoula Superintendent supports No Child Left Behind change


By Patrice Clark – bio | email

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Pascagoula's school superintendent is supporting the Obama Administration's proposal to change the controversial No Child Left Behind Act. The president is working with Congress to create a new education blueprint for the eight year law.  

Central elementary teacher Nancy Barnes usually begins her class with a morning greeting and immediately moves to reading, writing, and arithmetic. 

"We just practice, practice, practice," Barnes said. 

Barnes said she wants to make sure her third graders are prepared to take standardize tests mandated under the No Child Left Behind education law. 

"We have to ramp up our instruction to meet that need." 

In 2009, three Jackson County Schools failed to meet federal education standards, two in Moss Point and one in the Pascagoula School District. Pascagoula Superintendent Wayne Rodolfich said the schools earned the label "low performing" schools, which he said is neither fair nor accurate. 

"Sometimes we are given these great benchmarks to reach, but we are not given the funds to reach them," Rodolfich said. 

Under President Obama's plan to overhaul NCLB, data driven accountability would be gone, and schools would receive more funds to meet educational goals. 

"I think it is rewarding itself. It helps you get a lower teacher student ratio; it gives you better supplies in your classrooms." 

Rodolfich said he also backs a change to eliminate the requirement for students to be proficient in reading and math by 2014.  Instead, the president wants kids to be college and career ready by 2020. 

"I do like a great emphasis of workforce because of the evolution of the workforce, and we're moving into a much more technical age," Rodolfich said. 

Rodolfich said he does not support the president's plan to make schools compete for top praise and funding for high achievement. 

"I think you have to look at where your greatest need is for federal dollars," Rodolfich said.  "You have to be able to allocate that money to those communities rather than being his competition." 

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