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Murfree: Community school support vital

Photo by Ricki Barker

Photo by Ricki Barker

ALBANY, Ga. -- Dougherty County School Superintendent Joshua Murfree said the key to educational success for Dougherty County students can be found in a shape -- a triangle to be exact.

During his Tuesday afternoon speech to members of the Dougherty County Rotary Club the superintendent stressed the need for the entire community to support the students and become part of a "triangle of success."

Murfree explained that the three parts of the triangle of success consist of an educational-based outlook for home, school and community.

"This community must assist and support education," he told Rotarians. "There has to be a passion for education in the community. We won't wait around for Superman. In this audience I see supermen and superwomen who can help make the change."

Murfree said his vision for the Dougherty County schools is to "grow a system that is student-based" by tackling issues such as dropout rates, attendance and retention rates.

The superintendent also told Rotarians of his vision to create a state-of-the-art career center for students who desire a more employment-based approach to education.

"In education one size doesn't fit all. If that were the case, we would all be doctors or teachers," Murfree said. "You have to give people options."

"No Child Left Behind should certainly mean no child left behind."

The superintendent also spoke to Rotarians about the CRCT erasure investigation and his recent talks with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and an investment group from Atlanta.

"We don't have anything to hide," he said. "As they go around investigating the schools, we are asking the teachers to be honest and open."

Murfree said he had insisted to the GBI that the investigation should not interrupt instructional time in the classrooms and the agency has agreed to keep the school's schedule in mind. The superintendent stressed Tuesday that he believes that an erasure audit based on the number of times students erased answers does not prove cheating.

Overall, Murfree said, it is important that the community place students and education first.

"You have to tell (students) that you love them and support them and that you want to be around them. There are more good stories than bad in our school system," he said.

At the end of his speech, the superintendent added, "I am the architect of education in the school (system) which means I am the superintendent of schools in Dougherty County."