Letter: In defense of Oktibbeha County schools

September 13, 2010 9:57:00 AM



I think that it is unfair to state that Starkville schools rank better than Oktibbeha in scores that compare schools nationwide. First, the county schools have far fewer students (less than 1/4 as many). This makes the statistics less reliable due to the difference in sample sizes. Basically put, if three students in one grade had a bad day in Oktibbeha County that changes the statistics drastically, but not so for Starkville students. If you look at the percentages of students in each grade for each test, the numbers aren''t so different. Also, take into account that one student in Oktibbeha County will make about a 3% change in every level on the test, whereas one in Starkville won''t make a dent.


These kinds of statements further propagate existing stereotypes. When we moved to Starkville seven years ago we were warned about the bad county schools. But later when we moved into the West Oktibbeha County School area, we found highly qualified teachers, lower class sizes, and a family friendly environment. I am not asked for my I.D. when I go to my child''s school because they actually know me and my kids by name.


Wow! A neighborhood school instead of a factory.



I could go on and on about my positive experiences but I will just say that I am happy with the education my children are receiving in the "bad" schools.


Katie Riehle