Columbus School District seeking eCenters partners

Dr. Martha Liddell

COLUMBUS – (AP) The Columbus School District is recruiting churches, community groups and others to help high school dropouts throughout the region complete either their high school diploma or GED.

Dr. Martha Liddell

Schools Superintendent Dr. Martha Liddell tells WCBI-TV that the planned eCenters are the next major step in the Project 2020 dropout recovery program.

“The goal is quite simple – get and keep students in the education system so they can get the degree that is a big first step in a better life, contributing to society and making a living that offers a better future for them and their families,'' Liddell said.

In addition to providing an online curriculum, teachers will be available to work with Project 2020 students through Skype-enabled technology.

Project 2020 eCenters will be located in churches and community centers throughout Columbus.

Liddell said cooperative agreements are being established with the state Department of Education and neighboring school districts to allow dropouts from across the region.

“A one-size-fits-all educational model has contributed to a 30 percent dropout rate in Columbus and even more revealing; nearly 50 percent of the district's African-American male students dropped out of school in 2012.

“Although the dropout rate for many Mississippi schools is very similar, we cannot continue these failing statistics and expect to stay open for business,'' Liddell said.