Community Forum: Different Focus

By: Tametria Conner Email
By: Tametria Conner Email

A community forum at Wesley House did not involve the school superintendent, had less people and the mayor took the floor.

""We are going to move forward as a community and I promise you that," Meridian Mayor Cheri Barry said.

Barry made it clear that the administration would be involved in moving the district forward. Several residents voiced their point to the mayor that it is crucial for school board candidates and the advisory committee to know the current policy, dissect it and find out what's missing and what's need to be strengthened.

"I think that's a good step and a step forward that the community needs. I think (Mayor Barry) was very open minded. To only be in office 3 weeks, I think the community should give her an opportunity to show what her plan is," concerned grandparent Ben Amos said.

Facilitators wanted to move past the finger-pointing and focus specifically on the children of the Meridian Public School District.

"I think we really need to get to know who are leaders are and what their expectations are and what OUR kids will be faced with this coming school year," said Amos.

Parents, teachers and residents sparked discussion as a large group, and afterward, three break out sessions focused on elementary students, middle school students and high school students.

"We all as concerned citizens should be willing to speak out and have a positive attitude, not a negative attitude. Because if you have a positive attitude, that means you are looking for something different and are interested in moving forward," Amos said.

The next community forum will be a follow up to questions raised and allow for discussion.

Coordinators say school handbooks, school board policies, and the state board of education standards will be analyzed. Also, there will be discussion concerning the zero tolerance policy and police presence in schools.

That meeting is Aug. 4 at 6 p.m. at the Wesley House.


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  • by In the know on Aug 6, 2009 at 08:33 PM
    P. Walker and L. Crocker had the highest pass rates of the four teachers. Yes they had honors students, but their regular scores were high, too. It is amazing that MHS had the scores they did with that all that went on at MHS. All four English II teachers (even S. Walker) should be commended for getting what they did from MHS students this year. They were up against incredible circumstances. Even though she lost her job, it is amazing how she held up all year long knowing what possibly was to come. Not defending her maybe empathising a little, but just wondering how she held up all year. Crocker and P. Walker have taught 10th grade for years. Mercer and S. Walker were new to the grade. One would expect their scores to be higher just from experience alone. Hopefully the teachers will be left to do their jobs this year and not have to jump through so many hoops for administration. You will see more success when this happens.
  • by Admin Location: Meridian on Aug 6, 2009 at 09:53 AM
    If I'm not mistaken, Phillip Daniels was principal at Kate Griffin before Hood. Walker's test scores were great. Laura Crocker was her mentor teacher. Scores cannot be released to the public, but I will tell you that both Walker and Mercer had the largest population of SPED students who had never been in regular classes before, but they taught them and although most of them failed the test, this does not account for the other 200 or so who failed and were "honors" and "regular" students. (P.Walker/L.Crocker) Remember fingerpointing is not going to change anything. Let it go! In a few weeks, you'll have another group of students to teach and another teacher to write about on this blog. Hopefully it's not you who is being written about.
  • by Concern citizen Location: Meridian on Aug 6, 2009 at 07:17 AM
    At the last community forum, I felt that this was a start for positive change for this community- putting real concerns of citizens,parents,teachers and administrators on the table with the opportunity for helping this district/community to move forward. The August 4 meeting was canceled. I hope these meetings will continue as this was a place people were coming together and felt that they could speak their concerns in a safe non-threatening environment and they actually were being heard. Ginger and her staff have done an excellent job in providing an opportunity for dialog to begin. I hope these forums will continue for this community. It is important for everyone to have the opportunity to be heard so healing can begin.
  • by COMMON SENSE Location: MERIDIAN on Aug 5, 2009 at 10:36 PM
    DOUBLE DUH!!!
  • by MT Location: Meridian on Aug 4, 2009 at 05:30 PM
    Common Sense: Using DUH just makes you appear to be childish. Keep your sarcasm to yourself. Let the attorneys settle it. The ones involved will be punished in due time. No one is disagreeing that they need to be punished. You just keep dragging the woman's name in the ground.
  • by Common Sense Location: meridian on Aug 4, 2009 at 03:14 PM
    This is not about Walker. This is about accredition. Teachers in this district work very hard to help their students score well on these tests. These test are a measure of their future success. These tests allow teachers and students to target strengths and weaknesses in order to make ajustments to teaching and learning to insure that our young people can achieve the most out of their education. These tests measure a district's success at producing a work force that can supply the community with quality employees, good jobs and a sustainable future. These test are very important. They say a lot about all of us. If there is evidence this has occured in other years, the district needs to know and take action. Yes, Walker has been punished but the rest of us are suffering from the consequences of her actions. Plain and simple, she could not have done this alone. She had help. This will happen again if those in authority who assisted her are allowed to remain in positions of trust. DUH !!!!
  • by Concerned Too on Aug 4, 2009 at 06:48 AM
    Even though no transfers were to be allowed in the district, now CO is already making exceptions for "buddies". There are plenty of other families who would like to get in line for a "favor". This is not fair to the large number of students who were ripped from their friends, teachers, and the school they loved. It is also unfair to parents. When is this going to end?
  • by FYI Location: Meridian on Aug 4, 2009 at 05:56 AM
    I believe there is another forum scheduled for tonight.
  • by M T Location: Meridian on Aug 4, 2009 at 05:52 AM
    Common Sense: Why do you keep badgering Walker? She has been terminated. Yes, the other ones involved should be terminated also, but why keep singing the same old song. SLC's are new to this district. Education is ever-changing. They make it better for students and possibly help the lower functioning students have some hope and try to stay in school. Give it a try. Progress means moving forward. We learn from our sins and faults and move forward. The test scores cannot be released to the public until the Department of Education gives notice. This is nothing new.
  • by Common Sense Location: meridian on Aug 3, 2009 at 01:16 PM
    Test scores are in, just not avaliable to the public. "Small Learning Communities" is a major distraction from teaching. Teachers are asked to stay after school to create something that does not exist and never did. Little or no guidance or clues are offered. "What do you think the "Community" should be." "How should the "Community" be constructed." If teachers are not provided the secrete "Kronley Report" they are wandering in the dark. AGAIN, TEST SCORES ARE IN! Check Shelia Walker's test sores for this year. Check Shelia Walker's test scores from last year. What do they show? Check Shelia Walker's test scores from Kate Griffin where she worked with "cuz" Principal Vicky Hood. Is there a pattern that is repeating itself? Test scores low this year without cheating, test scores high before test theft was discoveded. Highly suspiciopus. How long has the Hood/Walker team been working together? Oh yeah, how did Bruce Pugh avoid the bullet that got Vicky Hood suspended for 5 days???
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