When the Mississippi Legislature convenes Tuesday, the focus will be on education. The key question is whether proper attention will be given to issues that can make a significant long-term difference.
Thus far, a disproportionate amount of attention and energy has been focused on charter schools. We support a reasonable charter school law that offers an alternative to students trapped in low-performing schools. Charter school operations with a proven record of sustained success should be welcomed in Mississippi. There are no doubt lessons that traditional public schools can learn and incorporate from the innovation that the best charters provide.
But they aren’t the sole or even primary answer to Mississippi’s education challenges. Their most ardent supporters, led by Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, acknowledge that charters aren’t a “panacea,” but the emphasis on getting charter legislation passed suggests a lot of stock is put in what they can accomplish.