Meridian Community Forum Packed

By: Lindsey Brown Email
By: Lindsey Brown Email

Fifth Street Baptist Church in Meridian was packed Sunday for a forum discussing the future of the Meridian Public School District.

It was organized to give local residents the opportunity to address the challenges the district faces going into a new year in August. They also addressed the concerns local residents have for the district.

Many people showed up with prepared questions that district officials took time to address.

Superintendent Charlie Kent answered questions from the audience. He was there with other district officials and school leaders.

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  • by concerned citizen Location: meridian on Jul 15, 2009 at 06:21 PM
    This week I attended a meeting with a number of people from other parts of the state. Everyone is laughing and talking about MPSD's poor choice in leadership and how it will only get worse if there is not a change now. They stated that this district should not be subjected to this for even another month much less one or two more years because more damage will prolong improvement of the school system and delay other opportunities for the community. Then they asked, "can someone buy the contract out before more damage is done to a system that was once looked at throughout the nation as a school of excellence?"
  • by forum attendee Location: meridian on Jul 15, 2009 at 03:58 PM
    To new teacher: back up to the Forum listed on page 1 for the comments that have been posted- these will give you the "jist" of the meeting. Also, look at the video clip that was posted last night. Hope this will give you an idea of the tone of the meeting about the elephant in the room. Also,I hope you will make plans to attend the upcoming forum and encourage others to attend. I believe it will be on July 28 at 6:00. More people need to get involved in attending these meetings. We now have more problems than we have ever had in MPSD and it is time for our community to come together to help bring about positive change if we hope to grow Meridian into a city we are all proud to call home.
  • by new teacher Location: Meridian on Jul 15, 2009 at 06:33 AM
    I was not able to attend the forum last night. What was the "jist" of the meeting?
  • by Good Leadership Needed for MPSD Location: Meridian on Jul 14, 2009 at 11:49 PM
    Why does Mr. Kent disrespect teachers by making such comments? Don't you think if a teacher talked to him that way he would probably fire them. I would have thought he would have spent his first year trying to get to know his staff and try to build on the strengths of MPSD staff before making any type of negative comment. To do it at every meeting should be of concern to those who hired him, unless he is being fed the wrong information from negative sources. A good leader going into a new job would have assessed the new situation and worked to highlight the strengths and build a working relationship instead of attacking his employees. Perhaps he needs to read Stephen Covey's book-Seven Habits of Highly Effective People- establish a good relationship with his employees so a WIN/WIN situation for the students, parents, teachers, administrators and community. I'm afraid too much damage has already been done. How can anyone believe he is invested in this community. Help is needed!
  • by MPSD needs real leader Location: Meridian on Jul 14, 2009 at 11:01 PM
    It would be great if WTOK could tape the entire meeting so everyone in this community could watch what transpires at these sessions. Thanks WTOK for the news coverage that you do provide. If we are going to move forward and improve this district so we can get new industry and businesses in Meridian then there needs to be people with creative minds helping to move this district forward. Tonight, when several people with vision and creative ideas asked their questions they were cut short by Charlie Kent in a derogatory manner. Too much time is spent on old issues of race.(Referred to as the elephant in the room at Sunday's meeting and again at tonight's forum.)It is sad that some of our leaders choose to make everything a race issue in school and some churches. Children are a product of their environment and when they are fed a steady diet of this at home and church about race then that is all they can focus on. I'm very concerned about the future of MPSD. We need a positive change now!
  • by Teacher Location: Merdian on Jul 14, 2009 at 08:09 PM
    Kudos to Proud Product: You hit the nail on the head. Who does this man think he is? I am so tired of his arrogance and him demeaning the teachers in this district. Self-confidence is one thing, but when you continue to put down others just to build yourself up, that is a problem! As a teacher, I do not trust Mr. Kent. I am so happy that I do not have children that would be attending any schools in MPSD under his supposedly leadership. When will the administrators stand up to him? When will the school board see that he is going to bring the district down instead of uplifting the district? He is too controversial. He doesn't support his teachers. He has already proved that parents can come down to plead their case and he will side with them without talking to a teacher or administrator. Parents have rights, but so do teachers.
  • by His Words Speak Location: Meridian on Jul 14, 2009 at 02:17 PM
    continuted.."that gave him the patience to listen to all sides of an issue before taking action. "I think the more people I involve from time to time in making decisions keeps me out of hot water," he says with a laugh." These words from "Fulfilling a dream inspired by a segregated start"/an interview with Charlie T. Kent himself in Chicago, IL. Well, I think we see the TRUE agenda forming here. It's about getting even.
  • by His Words Speak Location: Meridian on Jul 14, 2009 at 02:13 PM
    "I wanted to become a superintendent of schools because I knew our super-intendent," he says. "The other schools got the best of everything, and we got what was left. I used to say I wanted his job.".... But the superintendent's most formative years were spent in the segregated South, where he was bused past two white schools to get to his all-black school. His grandparents were share-croppers. His parents were so well known for their civil rights activities that the family was frequently harassed." "We were followed everywhere we went," Kent says. "If we were going into the town area or just on the highway, a car or a pickup truck would pull out and they would just follow you." His father, a farm worker, and his mother, a domestic worker, stressed education as the way to improve things. Kent has maintained his parents' civil rights activism, rising to second vice president of the Illinois State Conference of Branches of the NAACP in the early 1990s. It was his NAACP work, he adds,
  • by Disgusted Location: Meridian on Jul 14, 2009 at 02:12 PM
    Folks, until Mr. Kent is actually fired from his job as Superintendent, nothing is going to change. In fact it's only going to get worse. Did you know that the woman who was hired as the new Director of Human Resources has NO experience in education, except in insurance? She has never been an assistant or a teacher, but yet she was hired in this capacity. No one understands how this decision came to one was allowed to interview for this job; it was an inside placement?! Just hang on...there's going to be more shenanigans to come..that's a promise.
  • by Stop the Insanity! Location: Meridian on Jul 14, 2009 at 02:10 PM
    Isn't the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result? Well, when will this insanity end in MPSD? Who has the authority to get rid of the problem administrators and appropriatly discipline the teacher/principal that were involved in the testing violations? And WHEN will this be taken care of? We have children in MPSD and I expect some results immediately. Otherwise, I guess all the parents and teachers need to take our complaints "up the ladder" to MS Dept of Education. The forums might be a step in the right direction if ANY results actually came out of them- so far nothing but gum flapping is going on by Mr. Kent and other administrators... So sad that good teachers are going elsewhere due to all the problems and controversy. Wish I could afford to send my children to private schools!
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