Moss Point Superintendent Speaks Out In Her Own Defense

"We've got to celebrate our children's success," said Dr. Tressie Harper.

That's why she set up Saturday's event.

She says she wanted to lead a cheer and let Moss Point residents know their school district is on the road to success.

"I can't hear you! Say it again. Moss Point," she said.

Although the district's rated a level two, Harper says they have improved.

"Rather than comparing us to other districts, compare us to ourselves and see how much we have grown," Harper said.

She cites a steady increase in test scores across the board to prove her point.

"In our 7th grade, 29.8 points up," she said.

Resident David Mathews was one of the estimated 50 people in attendance.

He says he likes what he sees.

"The facts speak for themselves and I think they substantiate what we've been saying all along and what the superintendent's been saying. Moss Point school system is improving," Mathews said.

Harper admits she had a bumpy start when she took office four years ago.

However, she says the district has had to come a long way in a short amount of time thanks to the "No Child Left Behind" Act.

"We went from an intensive care financial unit to now a sound financial basis," Harper said.

While she says some of her policies have ruffled some feathers, Harper says some of the changes were as a result of the "No Child Left Behind" Act.

Harper says she was simply the one who had to deliver the bad news.

"Have you ever told a 8th grade teacher whose been teaching math for 15 years that they are no longer qualified? Guess what they think? They're not happy about that," Harper said.

She says that doesn't make her happy either, but she knows she's doing it for the right reasons.

She says it's all for the children.