MCPP Announces Exceed Schools Award
October 18, 2012
The Mississippi Center for Public Policy congratulates the winners of this year's Exceed School awards, recognizing the highest-performing public schools in Mississippi with poverty rates above 90%. George Elementary in Jackson topped the list with a QDI score of 223. Over 95 percent of the school's students are below the poverty line, according to the Mississippi Department of Education's latest data.
"We want to recognize public schools that are helping low-income students perform well on our state tests each year," said MCPP President Forest Thigpen. He believes these schools raise the bar for achievement in all schools. "All students can learn. We need public schools that do not accept poverty as an excuse for low performance."
"If George Elementary, with 95% of its students in poverty, can earn one of the highest scores in the entire state, why should we accept low scores from schools with similar poverty rates?" Thigpen asked. "And if a high poverty school can achieve such high scores, there is no excuse for schools with low poverty rates to score lower than that."
Thigpen believes that these Exceed Schools are a model for other schools with high poverty rates. "While these schools are doing well, most schools with high poverty rates are not. Those children deserve better schools, and their parents should have a choice between the local school or a high-performing public charter school. No matter who provides it, we want a high-quality education available for all students in Mississippi."