SHS unduly criticized

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 6, 2007

To the Editor:

When I first saw the story about Johns Hopkins study on television news in Norfolk, I did not think that it was true.

I question the validity of the study. I began to look into the criteria that Johns Hopkins used to form there conclusion.

The study labeled kids that transferred or took five years to graduate as dropouts. Ridiculous. It is an indication that Johns Hopkins did a poor and inaccurate job with their attempt to do whatever they set out to do.

I was very happy that Southampton High School did not take this lying down.

The state reports clearly show that Southampton High School continues to set and achieve academic standards that are exceptional among other high schools in the state of Virginia and the United States.

As a 1988 graduate of Southampton High School, I attended Virginia Union University, in Richmond, and I have to say that I was well prepared for college during my high school years and growing up in Southampton County. I have sacrificed income in my profession by turning down opportunities in Atlanta and Charlotte, mainly so that my children could have the opportunity to have an education in Southampton, where I currently live.

I regret that Mrs. Atkinson and the staff at Southampton High have received criticism stemming from Johns Hopkins fallacious study.

This is a time to rally around the high school, by finding the true numbers and realizing that there is a true treasure on Route 58 in Courtland and not a dysfunctional institution of attempted learning.

I would like to thank the county officials for responding to Johns Hopkins. I didn’t believe the report and I am glad my son is attending Southampton High School and my daughter is not far behind.

I have full trust in the staff and administration of Southampton High School, so should every parent that has a child there, despite what was compiled by Johns Hopkins.

Ricky L. Johnson Sr.