EDITORIAL/Education reform, drastic reform
Wednesday, March 5, 2014 12:00 AM
Under the latest pay-raise proposal to emerge out of the Legislature, teachers would be expected to yo-yo for at least 10 minutes without interruption and have accumulated at least 5,000 frequent-flyer miles, someone suggested in jest after Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves revealed his plan on Monday.
Seriously, the Legislature can't go wrong with pay raises for the good teachers.
Whatever they do on raises, where they can go wrong is failing to take this opportunity to embark on drastic education reform.
Speaker Philip Gunn's House proposal tied raises to benchmarks and, after Reeves' proposal didn't, Gunn was OK with that.
The benchmarks were Gov. Phil Bryant's idea, they said, as the bus screeched.
Reeves' plan would create benchmarks down the road but grant raises immediately.
If lawmakers would pledge earnestly and sincerely to put children first, they could accomplish much in the way of reform.
Education is the single biggest challenge facing Mississippi because it's so critical to jobs creation.
Mississippi public schools aren't, as a whole, turning out the most desirable students because so many are caught in what seems to be an unbreakable and oppressive cycle of poverty.
Teachers have got to be able to teach, but, before they can in many places, there are serious classroom issues to deal with.
Among the issues, classroom discipline, which begins in the home with good parenting, a foreign notion to many.
Incentivizing districts that offer strong mentoring programs and bring people in to come alongside teachers would be worth studying.
Between Lt. Gov. Reeves and Speaker Gunn, they have the intellect to craft and influence to push major education reform in a bipartisan way that would benefit all.