Oct. 29, 2003
Barbour is outstanding candidate
To the editor:
With no apologies to many friends and acquaintances who align with the Democratic Party the conclusion is easily made that there is only one outstanding candidate in the governor's race. That candidate is Haley Barbour.
Musgrove has wrongly pilloried Barbour, but the facts are clear to see. Though labeled an outsider from Washington, Barbour has in fact always kept his home and raised his family in Yazoo City and the many red-eye flights into Jackson over the years some that I personally witnessed are proof of his deep roots here.
Contrary to what his opponent would have the voter believe, Barbour has been a shining star for whom his state has been proud to call her own. The worldwide success he has brought his business and his clients he now offers us. With his talent and expertise he can open doors to this state on a global basis.
He is willing to give up a lucrative enterprise to serve the state he dearly loves, and his offer is without possibility of personal reward other than the satisfaction public service brings.
Barbour is a true Jeffersonian whose entry into the political contest is not to make a career as a lifelong elected official?
Not in the 30-plus years I have been voting has there been a candidate so talented, articulate and with such a deep understanding of the issues as Haley Barbour. I think what a tragedy it would be if the voters did not take advantage of this opportunity.
On a different note, and one that has received absolutely no attention, is what Haley will bring with him to the Governor's Mansion his wife, Marsha. A lovely lady poised and graceful, Marsha Barbour would make a wonderful first lady, the likes of which we have not seen in many years. Though not an official office, the position of first lady is critically important, and one that Mr. Musgrove appears unable to fill.
Minor Ferris Buchanan
Parental involvement a must in education
To the editor:
There has been a lot of discussion lately about more parental involvement in public schools. I want to relate two personal cases to show the importance of parents' involvement.
In February 1998, Superintendent of Education David Little received a letter from the Mississippi High School Athletic Association Inc. director, Dr. Ennis H. Proctor. This letter cited several deficiencies within the high school athletic facilities in the Lauderdale County School system. Dr. Proctor had the East Mississippi representative, Mac Barnes, conduct a survey of these facilities and report the finding to the association.
After the report was completed, Dr. Proctor sent the above-mentioned letter to David Little instructing him to review the discrepancies with the school board and make the necessary improvements. This letter was not brought to the attention of the Lauderdale County School Board until someone within the school system sent a copy to me and asked if I could help. I notified Stan Torgerson, then a reporter with The Meridian Star and faxed a copy of this letter to him.
This letter was made public through an interview with The Meridian Star editorial board in March 1998 and with an appearance on WTOK's On The Record program. Without this media support, no attention or effort would have been made to correct the issues.
In January 1999, Lauderdale County School Board member Robbie Hales brought a recommendation to return algebra to the middle schools as an eighth grade course. This had previously been offered in the eighth grade and our eighth graders scored among the highest in the state in this category.
When the decision was made to go to block scheduling, this course was moved from the eighth grade to the high school curriculum. Parents were upset with this and felt that it should be returned to the middle school curriculum. A telephone survey of all districts rated 4 to 5 in the state of Mississippi revealed that this course was offered in the middle school curriculum.
Superintendent David Little opposed this move even making the comment to a school board member, "Why does it matter if little Johnny takes algebra in the eighth grade or the ninth?" It took from January 1999 until March 1999, to get the Lauderdale County School Board to approve this request. It finally passed without the superintendent's recommendation.
With the above two examples, I think you will see that it is vitally important for parents to stay involved with the public schools. With the Nov. 4 election coming up, it is very important for all parents to look closely at the position of Lauderdale County School Superintendent because this position is an elected position and the individual elected will be in charge of your children for the next four years.
Guy D. Taylor