Monday, January 16, 2017
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The Tunica Times • P.O. Box 308/986 Magnolia Street, Tunica, MS 38676

Tunica students struggling in reading, math

Nearly three quarters of Tunica County’s third grade public school students have minimal or partial understanding in English and language arts, according to last spring’s state tests.

That means 123 of those 177 students are already falling far behind many of their peers in Mississippi and nationwide.

The stakes are high: at the end of the 2014-2015 school year, over 30 Tunica third graders were almost held back due to lagging reading skills. Those who didn’t pass the Third-Grade Reading Summative Assessment the first time could retake the test; many of those 30 eventually were able to move on to fourth grade.

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Recent school scores show Mississippi still far behind other states

For the 2014-2015 school year, Mississippi public school students were tested from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, instead of the more familiar Mississippi Curriculum Test.

According to a December release by the Mississippi Department of Education, educators had been braced for a drop in student performance, and as anticipated, student performance dropped from previous years’ performance levels in English language arts (ELA) and mathematics. Statewide, only 30 percent of students in grades 3-8 met or exceeded expectations in ELA and only 26 percent met or exceeded expectations in mathematics.

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How many readers remember these Tunica businesses: Farm Equipment (top), Campbell’s Bar-B-Q (below left), and The House of Catfish (below right)?

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Supervisors try to eject Pegram from Jan. 14 meeting

Newly elected District 5 supervisor Billy Pegram turned back repeated challenges  and remained at the table during last week’s Board of Supervisors meeting, but the Board continued to recognize former supervisor McKinley Daley as the District 5 representative and to count Daley’s votes.

Board president James Dunn opened the January 14 meeting by saying he had asked Board attorney John Perry to “research and communicate with the Attorney General as it relates to the Supervisor District 5” and to speak to whose votes should be counted and who should be recognized.

Perry reported that he had submitted a request for a formal opinion on the matter to the Attorney General’s office on January 10, attaching a letter detailing “how we ended up to this point right now.” Perry said the AG’s office told him his request was on a 30 day response trajectory but that the AG’s office said they can try to expedite it.

Perry then said it was his opinion that until there is a special election or a decision relating to a special election, the Board should follow procedure as it relates to a hold over member of the Board and recognize Daley.

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