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Eradicating Poverty in Jackson, Ms: Theories and Hypothesis for Change

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Eradicating Poverty in Jackson, MS: Theories and Hypothesis for Change

Founded in 1822 on the site of a trading post on the west bank of the Pearl River, the city was named to honor Major General Andrew Jackson who later became the seventh President of the United States. The city’s history has been turbulent. During the civil war, the town was ravaged and burned three times by Union troops under the command of General William Tecumseh Sherman. And more recently, Jackson played a pivotal role in the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960’s. The city of Jackson has overcome many of the social issues in which our country has spawn through its shaping in the twenty first century. Jackson, Mississippi has a strong history in the building of our great nation. Many of the great events in the civil rights movement took place right here in Jackson (Most Livable, Internet Source). Past civil rights leaders such as Medgar W. Evers, Fannie Lou Hammer, and Martin L. King Jr. have all made bedrock foundations for change in this area. Although these past leaders have paved the way for blacks to receive proper education, efficient jobs, and rectifiable social living conditions there still is a hidden reason for which the city of Jackson is on the decline in comparison to other cities here in the United States.

Here in the City of Jackson people are clouded by what they see on television, in reference to its political leaders. Right now, there is a controversy among the citizen of Jackson of weather or not the current mayor of the city is “the right man for the job”. People are worrying that the current laws enacted are hurting the community more than helping it.

It is hard to unilaterally run a city. Without the input of the other leaders in office, who have been chosen by people, most people do not see how the interest of the citizens can be served. Another problem in the city of Jackson is, most of the jobs are leaving the area. Many times people whom are seeking jobs are left out in the cold simply because of the lack of jobs present in the area. The fact that there are no jobs readily available for the “unskilled worker” is the only reason why I can see that there is a rise in crime.

Education and Diversity

Education is also a problem in Jackson. According to the superintendent for the Jackson Public Schools the rate among high school dropouts has dropped. He has gone on record stating the ACT standardized test scores for the entire district has increased over the last five years. These are all great instances of something positive happening for the city of Jackson, but there are also cases reported to prove that there are also a high number in teen pregnancies in the JPS school system. These reports are not those reporting about white children. These are reports of occurrences within the black community. 97% of the students in the Jackson Public School System are black. At this current moment there are reports that conclude that kids in the JPS system do not have books to study. How are expectations of our children to excel in classrooms are being made if they do not have the adequate learning tools that are extremely important to be successful in school? My only inclination is that the leaders of Jackson must care more about putting these children in jail, rather than insuring that they make it to college and beyond.

Although there have been many steps towards solving these problems it seems as if there has been no success. I say this because every time a person is the victim of a crime the first individual name called is one of a minor. I believe that if more of the city’s budget was concentrated towards insuring that kids have something to look forwards to, then there would be no need for laws and ordinances such as: curfew and after school detention.

This crime-wave problem is an issue that has many of Jackson’s citizens leaning towards a final decision to just move out of the area. I personally believe that the only way to uplift the way Jackson is perceived is to put the necessary monetary assistance into the right places. There is no reason that Jackson residents should have to travel to Ridgeland and beyond to shop, eat, and alternatively live in order to be happy. If Jackson, MS had the right resources inside the city limits to lower the crime-wave, improve living conditions, and provide a standard of education to its youth then there would be no need for residents of Jackson to seek happiness and satisfaction elsewhere. In order to achieve this goal the leaders of Jackson will have to put aside their difference and meet on a common ground to lay down the foundation for change in the area. Studies have revealed in the past that Jackson, Mississippi’s crime problem ranks on a national scale with cities such as: New York, Los Anglos, Chicago, and Dallas. It is ashamed to know that we are raising children in a place that competes for “the worst place to live” title. Overall, this is a community problem and we as Jackson residents have a moral responsibility to do our part to help city officials in overcoming these issues, which have us all divided.

The unprecedented status of the Jackson Public School is at a level were extreme measures must be taken in order to provide the school system with maximum scholastic ability of the student and teachers in the Jackson-Metro area. Administration must take an accurate account of all employee qualifications and certifications. Those teachers who do not meet the newly enacted requirements will be temporarily relieved of their duties until certified. Until that period of time is fulfilled teachers will be paid their “agreed upon” salary or wage while away from work. These actions are extreme, but the status of the Jackson Public School System is at an all time low. Therefore, it is my proposal that the extremely low academic performance in Jackson Public School System measures be deemed priority in the meeting of the Jackson City Council, as well as the Mississippi Legislature committee concerning state education.

The moral fabric of a city lies in its youth. As adults, we should not sit idly aside while children in the inner city community become victims of “mis-education.” The fact that students inside the JPS suffer from not having necessary learning materials such as: books, pencils, and paper should alarm anyone who cares about education. The troubling truth is the same kids that are being deprived of an adequate education are alternatively, the same kids that end up being process into the Criminal Justice System. This statement is supported through countless charts



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