MPS Superintendent: "I Could Have Communicated More"

By: Lindsey Brown Email
By: Lindsey Brown Email

Superintendent Charlie Kent with Meridian Public Schools is going in to his second year as head of the district.

While appearing on Newscenter Eleven's On The Record Program, Kent took recent criticisms head on. When presenter John Johnson asked that Kent grade himself and the district, Kent gave the district a C plus and gave himself a C.

Kent says taking over leadership of a new district in a new state required more adjustment time than he has anticipated. Additionally, he says he could have done a better job communicating with community leaders and parents about the state of the district.

"I wouldn't say it was a failure, but I just didn't do it as much or as often as I needed to. That may be one of the reasons we have had some of the questions and concerns to come about because of a lack of communication," said Kent.

Later in the interview, Kent said ninth grade students will begin school on the Kate Griffin campus while work comes to an end on the new ninth grade building. He expects work will wrap up around October.

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  • by More than just a slight of hand magic trick on Aug 13, 2009 at 09:34 PM
    Vanilla Cracker, make no bones about it. Chuckie was put in place by the NCAAP to move the black teacher ratio up and the white student population down. He moved the white teacher population from 72% to 43% in 5 years at Country Club Hills. Black teacher percentage went from 28% to 55%. Other 2% was Asian. Teachers and students come in all colors, shapes, sizes, pesonalities, etc. But when a certain group fought for him to be hired, spend hours in his office, abd are planted in community forums to speak out, and the real minority is pushed out, it ain't just a magic show by Kent. It's an agenda pushed through with Kent as their puppet focusing on one select group of students and teachers with the aim at segregating our schools pre-1970 style except reversed.
  • by Citizen X Location: Meridian on Aug 13, 2009 at 12:29 PM
    Redline- your remarks are what stereotypes are made of. Want to stop the racial stereotypes/discrimination? Stop separating yourself from others (assuming that because someone is white, he/she is against you). We're all people & everyone has different opinions. Mr. Kent has graded himself as a "C" what does that tell you about his performance in a job that the tax paying citizens pay for? I see your posts on here fairly often and you always have the same complaint- white people are holding you (and other african americans) back. Tell me- what are you doing to broaden your own mind/horizons; financially support your family; and improve the education of your children or relatives' children? All too often, people complain about things when they aren't make an effort to make things better...
  • by VANILLA CRACKER Location: meridian on Aug 12, 2009 at 10:39 PM
    Chuckie is still under close scrutiny by watchful eyes and he knows it. He was hired by a majority white school board apointed by a white mayor. I have not heard the "race" issue used as an arguement for or against any point of view in this community in years. The "race" issue is a smoke screen, a magician's trick. "Now carefully watch my right hand", as the left hand stealthily performs the trick. If Chuckie can distract black and white people from the debate over his competence and get us fighting each other, he can sneak out the back door with a hand full of unearned district cash. He is a scam artist and the Meridian community is his mark. This is not a black and white issue. This is about supplying this community with a quality educational system for children, parents, teachers, businesses and the future. STAY FOCUSED. Chuckie is trying to divided Meridian along racial lines. We are friends and neighbors. FOCUS! Quote from VANILLA CRACKER, "Crackers and haters come in all flavors".
  • by Black Teacher Location: Meridian on Aug 12, 2009 at 09:08 PM
    Give Me a Break, While I must agree with Michelle that it is not all of us (blacks). I must admit that these are the problems that I see DAILY at my elementary school that is 99% black. I am also sick of parents coming to school (in their sleeping clothes) demanding that we raise their children for them. There really is NO value of education and NO respect.
  • by Give Me a Break on Aug 12, 2009 at 08:21 PM
    Michelle: yes, I apologize. I have many African American friends that are truly amazing people. Didn't mean to categorize. AND my statements go out to the caucasions who mistreat the system as well. However, I do feel that looking from the inside this is a MAJOR problem in the African American community in Meridian. There are exceptions and you are one of them. Redline citizen just needs to get a grip on reality. Facts are facts!!
  • by Michelle on Aug 12, 2009 at 06:31 PM
    To Give Me a Break: Please do not categorize all African Americans as you did in your post. Some of us are professional, have degrees, and work for a living. My son was reared correctly. There are just as many Caucasians that commit crimes that go untold. So please do not make general statements about ethnicities. There is good and bad in every ethnicity.
  • by Give Me a Break on Aug 12, 2009 at 09:02 AM
    To Redline Citizen: you are too funny!! The true problem is if the black community would do a better job of RAISING their kids we wouldn't have problems to this extent in our schools. Do you watch the news? Pull up stats on other schools. The news is full of young black men commiting crimes, young black women with multiple kids by multple men and no job. The schools that DO well are majority white schools. Coincidence?? AND as for us sending our kids to Lamar: sounds like something you would suggest. White people must pay twice for their children's education and yours get a free ride. Tell your neighbors to get off the front porch and get jobs, pay their own way, pay for their kid's lunch and brakfast, get off medicaid, stop having multiple kids by multiple men, buy their own school supplies and uniforms, etc. Maybe then the teachers of MPSD would be able to teach children who actually value education and understand the concept of hard work, not just hand outs!
  • by northest teacher Location: northest on Aug 11, 2009 at 03:15 PM
    burnham has performed well at every school he has been to. call david little and ask him if Billy was ran off , he will quickly tell you no. he was asked to come to northeast middle because of the great job he did at southeast, call McLin and ask if she ran him off from meridian, she hated to see him go. this shows how much the earlier refernce knows-zero- to say he was ran off is close to slanderous. Mr. Burnham saved Northeast Middle School.
  • by Teacher Location: Meridian on Aug 11, 2009 at 01:13 PM
    FYI Lamar has more than whites going there and some are NOT on scholarships. My neighbor sent his son there because he was sick of Meridian High and his son got a full academic scholarship to Ole Miss when he graduated.......OH MY, and all those teachers are white and he was a big minority in the population but he was very successful.
  • by TOO LATE for recoverable "F" Location: Meridian on Aug 11, 2009 at 12:09 PM
    Communication should have been this superintendent's number one goal when he took the job. Instead of giving himself a C he should have asked could he at least have a recoverable "F" and try to make amends for his wrongfully disrespecting his hardworking dedicated teachers and staff. He attempted an apology at one of the forums. This could have meant moving forward but then he had to "qualify" it which led me to believe he really didn't intend to apologize for his verbally throwing all of his teachers under the bus in the first place. How can someone make that type of statement when they do not even know their employees? A good leader would have thanked everyone for working hard. Then at the meeting at the church and the next forum he referred to the elephant in the room and started the race issue. He had in his power to lead by example this year. He made no effort to get to know the teachers of this district before he started these comments. Trust at this point will never be gained.
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