Letter to the editor

Published 5:46 pm Friday, November 7, 2014

Dear Editor, 

The high school graduation rates came out last week and there was almost a 2 percent increase from 71.8 to 73.7 here in Decatur County, but that still leaves 102 students out of a possible graduating class of 366 without a high school diploma and that does not include the 16 year old 8th graders that never made it to high school.

Our system has continued to be in the low 70s percentage rates for the last few years. The economic impact can easily been seen in our community—we are not growing!

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The first thing new industries, businesses or families look at is your school system’s reputation. We have all the “bells and whistle” you can have, but something is lacking. The Zillow real estate rating service that grades schools nationally gave our middle and high school a rating of 4 with a possible 10 being the highest. John Johnson and Potter Street each received the highest rating in the system with a 7 and West Bainbridge Elementary and Jones-Wheat a 6.

While the local BOE can be pleased that we had an increase, look at our neighboring systems’ graduation rates: Seminole County 85.7, Thomas County 89.1, Mitchell County 82.6, Early County 80, Cairo High 75.5 the only one lower than Decatur County was Miller with 64. At what point will our local Board going to take steps to improve our standing in our SWGA education community and hold someone or some people accountable?

It is obvious from the Zillow ratings that most of our elementary schools and many of our neighboring High Schools are getting it right, so see what is working there and move us up.


John H. McRae