District 4 incumbent only candidate to ‘debate’
For the second time in a row, only the incumbent participated in a candidate debate organized by Pastor Roman Fullilove. On May 11 at the G.W. Henderson, Sr. Recreation Complex, Henry “Lil Sonny” Nickson, Jr. was the sole candidate to speak to the audience about his plans for District 4.
Despite their absences, candidates Curtis Jackson and Craig Harris were invited, Fullilove said. Jackson had to leave town for a family emergency days prior to the debate and had not contacted the event organizer to confirm if he’d made it back in town to participate, Fullilove explained. Harris, who is currently awaiting a judicial decision to allow him to campaign, chose not to participate at this time, Fullilove told the audience.
Though the one hour debate was scheduled to start at 7 p.m., various candidates for multiple positions throughout the county showed up and presented their platforms during the meet and greet portion of the event. This delayed the debate by more than a half hour. By the time the actual debate started at 7:35 p.m., more than half of the attendees had already left.
The event proceeded with questions asked by Mary McKay and Curtistine Jones. Nickson answered a few quick questions about economic growth, jobs, and health care, but most time was spent discussing county finances and housing and neighborhood concerns.
More than 30 third graders may not be promoted
Tunica County third grade students scored slightly below average on a recent statewide assessment of reading readiness, with 79 percent achieving a passing score of 926 or above. Those who achieved a passing score will be promoted to fourth grade; those who did not pass will likely repeat the third grade.
Statewide, just over 85 percent of third graders passed, representing 32,219 students. Nearly 15 percent, or 5,612 students, did not pass.
“Tunica County School District third graders performed significantly better than their Delta peers,” District Curriculum Coordinator Donna Smith said this week.
“Teachers have been preparing students for this rigorous assessment since the beginning of the school year,” Smith continued.
“We contribute our academic achievement to school leaders holding teachers accountable to the expectations of the Academic Plan.
“Our district’s Academic Plan requires students to have 25 minutes of engaged time on the Accelerated Reading program....”
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