State takeover could be good for Yazoo's youth

We received the news of the state’s plan to take over the Yazoo City School District on the same day that this edition was going to press so there wasn’t much time for analysis.

It’s obviously not the kind of news that any community would like to be known for.

We do hope, however, that this will turn out to be positive news for our local school district in the long run.

The hard truth is that Yazoo City’s public schools have been stuck at the bottom for a long time. There have been administrative changes, but besides rising to a “D” level during the tenure of former Superintendent Darrin Edwards, the district has been considered a failing district.

There are a number of different theories on why that has been the case, but despite the best efforts of a lot of people, the problems persist.

We don’t think anyone would disagree that the children of Yazoo City deserve better.

It’s never an easy thing to give up local control of an important institution, but maybe that is what it will take to get the district on the right track.

The state has no easy task ahead of it by taking over the Yazoo City district, and the Mississippi Department of Education surely realizes that fact. There will be pressure to produce results.

It might help to have leadership that can take a fresh look at the problems that currently exist without being influenced by relationships that are a natural result of the district being led mostly by people who live in this community. It might help to be able to take local politics out of the equation when creating a new path forward.

If we had the answers to these problems we would have already presented them. There is not a more important issue in this city than improving our public schools. A failing public school district is the largest obstacle to our city when it comes to attracting new business and new residents – and keeping existing residents.

But the main reason that this is a challenge that must be met is that failing schools are holding back the students who must attend them. That is why we should all hope that the state’s effort is successful.