Letters to the Editor

Encourage schools to close gap

The Sun Herald front page article concerning achievement gaps in our schools (“Gulfport School District has one of highest achievement gaps in the state,” Nov. 11), brought negative attention to Gulfport schools because they had one of the highest achievement gaps.

The article did not focus on initiatives used to raise the lowest performing students but only magnified the difference between high- and low-achievers. The article in essence critiqued Gulfport School District for having too many high-achieving students. The Sun Herald did not give the school the opportunity to discuss what steps they are taking to improve academic achievement.

So what are we doing to better prepare the low-achieving students for graduation and life after school?

Not every student is college material. With tutoring, extracurricular classes, one-on-one instruction and opportunities to learn life skills that will make them successful adults, the gap between high- and low-achievers will diminish and we will see increased graduation rates.

Mississippi has a poverty level of 34 percent, and school districts with D or F ratings lack many high-achieving students, making the achievement gap minimal.

I thought this to be ironic since we are focusing on the dangers of a large achievement gap and should be more concerned with our D and F rated schools.

Bottom line, the article should have concentrated on what the Gulfport School District is doing to close this gap and not reprimand them for having too many high-achieving students.

Liz Serpa