The Corinth School District has been at the cutting edge of several innovative approaches to education.
On today’s episode, Corinth School District Superintendent Lee Childress (7:26) talks with education reporter Emma Kent about the district’s approach and why it is important to try new strategies for educating students.
Childress was the keynote speaker at Wednesday’s CREATE Foundation State of the Region meeting, and he hits upon the highlights of his remarks. The district was recently named a District of Innovation by the Mississippi Department of Education. Among its biggest changes was switching to a modified school calendar in which students begin the year in August but remain in class until the middle of June. That’s because they take three-week breaks at the end of the first- and third-nine weeks so teachers can provide real-time remediation to students who are struggling.
Beginning next year, the district will unveil Pillar Projects, comprehensive projects that will be done by fourth-, sixth-, eighth- and 12th-grade students. It will allow them to develop a digital portfolio and show what they can do with research, writing, technology and oral communication skills.
Today’s workforce demands problem solving, creativity and complex communication skills, Childress said, and it is critical for schools to find new ways to teach those skills.
Also on today’s show, Daily Journal law enforcement reporter William Moore (22:50) joins Derek and Brad to discuss the debate on whether Mississippi cities should elect or appoint their police chiefs. Although it used to be the norm to elect police chiefs, that practice has changed. Today, only 11 of Mississippi’s 275 police chiefs are elected, although nine of those are in Northeast Mississippi.
The main differences between appointing and electing chiefs are geography and qualifications. Also, appointed chiefs are accountable to mayors and boards, while elected ones only have to answer to voters every four years.
Daly Journal Capitol Bureau chief Bobby Harrison (32:02) talks about a number of lawsuits Mississippi is now facing dealing with the issue of how the state funds its schools.
One filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center on Tuesday claims the state is violating terms of its re-admittance to the Union after the Civil War by not providing an equitable education for black students.
Last week, the Southern Poverty Law Center filed another lawsuit contending a law allowing the governor to make mid-year cuts to schools to deal with revenue shortfall is unconstitutional. A different lawsuit filed by the SPLC making its way through the judicial system challenges the constitutionality of Mississippi’s charter school law.
Meanwhile, the state Supreme Court is considering a lawsuit filed on behalf of 21 school districts by former Gov. Ronnie Musgrove contending that state law mandates the formula providing state funds to local school districts be fully funded.
Daily Journal photographer Lauren Wood (40:48) discusses her recent photo essay that chronicles the Steel Toe Magnolia clogging group in Amory.
And Derek (2:08) discusses his recent story about two Amory men who recently caught a GoPro camera while fishing at Pickwick Lake. They discovered the camera still worked, uploaded its footage onto Facebook and located the owner who had lost the camera while fishing more than three years earlier.