Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Pittman stands up for illiteracy with encouragement from Superintendent.

Civil rights activist Ineva May-Pittman criticized the third grade reading tests and asked parents to sue the state over the results in comments made at the May 19 meeting of the Board of Trustees for the Jackson Public School District of Jackson in the Magnolia State of Mississippi.  Superintendent Dr. Cedric Gray encouraged opposition to the law and tests as well as can be seen in the video posted below.

Kingfish note:  Ms. Pittman stood up to many injustices in life but she is wrong in this case.  The real crime is that nearly a third of the third-grade students in a "D" rated district in the worst educational system in the nation can't pass the reading test.  They are given two more opportunities to take the test.

If Ms. Pittman wants to lead and not march, what she should do is urge the Superintendent to work with the local churches in Jackson to get those students in those churches after school and on weekends to learn how to read.  The civil rights activists worked many long hours registering people to vote.  Its time they took that energy and focused it on teaching those kids to read instead of as usual, attacking the standards or the test. 

As for Dr. Gray, well, his comments need no additional comment.


Anonymous said...

Don't worry, kids. You're the "white man's burden." We can ride this train for another hundred years.

Come on, Cedric. Demand excellence!

Anonymous said...

With leadership like that...

Anonymous said...

I disagree with your assessment JJ. I havent read all of Ms Pittman's opinion, but I think this points to abject failure of the education system in Mississippi. I think a lawsuit is a stretch but it sure gets attention. The State is responsiblenot only to those children and families but to me as well, taxpayer / property owner / citizen

Anonymous said...

Pittman is an idiot. Despite your defense of her because of something she may (or may not have actually) done decades ago, over the past two decades she has done nothing except to harass and bitch. All she is missing is the national attention, and therefore dollars, of a Jackson or a Sharpton. All bitch and no action, thus no results. But they don't care - this group doesn't want results, they just want personal attention. If Pittman wanted results, she wouldn't suggest a lawsuit, she would be demanding that the schools educate the children, and that the parents would get involved/interested in the advancement of their children.

Anonymous said...

I M Pittman epitomizes the problem - certainly not the solution. If she was a first/second/third grade teacher, there is no wonder that parents of children in school today can't read. She taught school and believes that someone that can't read in the third grade should be passed on to the fourth grade!! Unreal.

My daughter teaches second grade and has in the past taught first. Her students didn't move on to second if they couldn't read. But then again, they didn't get As and Bs without being able to read either.

If Ms Pittman thinks that kids are getting As and Bs but can't read in the third grade, then the problem is with the teachers and the system that gives these grades. And if the highly paid superintendent thinks that this kind of education should continue, as he evidently does based on his comments and encouraging people to vote against legislators that instituted the third grade reading gate - then its just too bad that we don't have the opportunity to exercise our vote against him!! Maybe we should vote against those that appoint the poor leadership of the JPS that gives this kind of leadership raises rather than sending them packing.

Step Up And Receive Your Trophy said...

1:35; Methinks you miss the point entirely. It's not about your burden. It's about black people not wanting accountability and coveting a world where there are no measures of progress or failure.....a world where all are average and everyone gets a trophy (and, in this case, an advancement to 4th grade)....a world where the white man cannot hold back non-achievers and deny them their right to the piece of the pie to which they are entitled.

Are you beginning to see more clearly now?

PS: Having met and followed Dr. Grey, I am disappointed. We might as well return to the non-management of Jane Sargent (sp)....

Anonymous said...

4:34 pm I see clearly that you don't seem to understand that there are white children that can't read in the third grade as well! And, you don't know that there are more than a few whites in this state whose reading comprehension never gets beyond that of a 5th grader! You might want to wonder why Mississippi only used ACT rather than SAT scores for so many years as well and why Mississippi couldn't have professional recognition agreements with so many other states for so long!

Look at the results on ACT and SAT tests compared to other states.

You might also look at the weight given Mississippi schools, public and private, in those colleges and universities that use mathematical formulas to decide on acceptance!

Yes, we have bright children from well educated families that overcome these obstacles that are nice exceptions that some of you will love to use for denial of decades of a education system in need of reform at every level!

If Ms. Pittman is doing nothing more than saying " The Emperor has no clothes", that's at least more of an effort that those of you who seem to fear or avoid knowledge are doing!

Anonymous said...

It's about black people not wanting accountability and coveting a world where there are no measures of progress or failure ...

Or, in Brad Franklin's narrative, a world where you are placed into key jobs not because you are qualified but simply because you think it is your turn.

Anonymous said...

June 4, 2015 at 7:20 AM = Yada, yada, yada

Anonymous said...

Anyone that knows anything about testing knows you must create a baseline through pilot testing before you can set passing levels. There was no pilot test. A lawsuit will be successful.

Anonymous said...

9:05 - I'm sure you and Ronnie Musgrove can fathom such a lawsuit, but I'll take bets on its success. To use your theory, there would be no holding back of a kid in any grade for failing. You don't pass the basic requirements, you don't pass to the next grade. The reading gate is nothing different than all the other tests administered in all school systems.

7:20 - yes, there are white kids that can't read either. This is not a racial issue until it is brought into JPS and Ms. Pittman's blather. If a kid cannot pass the basic reading test (and I believe they are given three chances, just like Little Bunny FuFu) by the end of third grade he doesn't have a chance in future grades to learn and thus eventually is either 'socially passed' or drops out. Either one is a failure of our education system. I agree with you, it is failing in too many areas of the state. Problem in Jackson is - the administrators laud the theory and Ms. Pittman's statements - that we shouldn't hold back a kid that can't read.

Anonymous said...

I'm 9:05. I'm not saying I'm against the test. What I am saying is the Guv put this in effect without a pilot year of testing to set a baseline. Anyone knows in testing and measurement that you can't set passing levels without historical data. To even complicate it more the passing score was set after the test was given, so basically whoever set the passing score chose which students would fail without any supporting historical data from MS. The lawsuit will be viable if someone chooses to challenge it. 10:25, I'm just looking at it without a bias either way.

Anonymous said...

11:42 pm I agree. And, another component is to find how WHY the child can't read!
For goodness sakes, some of those failing might be farsighted and never have been tested! Some may be dyslexic! Some may have undetected hearing lost so as not to hear some ranges but not be noticeably deaf! Some may have profound learning disabilities.

This is about doing the best by ALL this Nation's children that we are capable of doing. And, if you think that is a partisan or racial issue, you are literally fanatically INSANE!

Our Nation will do only as well in the future as it's children!

Playing politics with education is what has broken this system and you can cast blame by nitpicking different failures all you want but ALL of the political parties are to blame . They are to blame because they can't EVER own up to a mistake or face that they aren't always right!

Kingfish said...

You make good points about pilot testing but there is still the problem that too many of these kids can't read.

When half the third graders in a school can't read, the problem is not the lack of a pilot testing program.

Anonymous said...

I agree KF, but no one's really looking at why they can't read.

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