It would have been awesome if both Mississippi State and Ole Miss had advanced to the College World Series in baseball, but having MSU make it for the second year in a row is still mighty special.
As much as the Bulldogs dominated Stanford this weekend in taking two straight from the Cardinal, the visitors from California seemed just as impressed by the fan support in Starkville.
In the Pac-12 Conference in which Stanford plays, 3,000 to 4,000 fans is considered a nice turnout for a college baseball game. In Starkville, that would be an embarrassment.
There were more than 13,000 packed into Dudy Noble Field on Saturday for Game 1, and close to 12,000 came for Game 2. Clearly their loud presence helped add to MSU’s intimidation advantage.
Mississippi may not be the king of football and basketball, but when it comes to baseball, it’s at the top of the heap.
Editor and Publisher
Children’s books and ‘Jeopardy’
Plenty of people have been paying attention to the TV game show “Jeopardy” in recent weeks, where a professional sports gambler had been on a 32-match winning streak until he lost on the show that was broadcast Monday.
James Holzhauer was an exceptionally aggressive player, hunting for Daily Double questions at the bottom of each board and betting large amounts when he found them. The strategy worked in a big way: He took home more than $2 million, averaging nearly $77,000 per day, and he now holds all of the show’s top 10 single-day winnings.
However, none of it would have mattered if Holzhauer hadn’t gotten an awful lot of “questions” right. He’s clearly a smart guy, but it’s also worth noting that before he went on “Jeopardy,” he read through a lot of children’s books to expand his knowledge of little-known things.
Holzhauer said these books are designed to engage young readers, and they definitely gave him an edge. The message ought to be clear to parents: Get your kids a couple of interesting books this summer. It will pay off one day.
Jack Ryan, Enterprise-Journal
Ole Miss preschool treated like pet
Running laboratory elementary schools at Mississippi colleges and universities is a perfectly fine idea, particularly at institutions that have teacher education programs.
These lab schools can provide hands-on experience to college students who aspire to be classroom educators. They also can be testing grounds to develop best practices that can be shared with schools throughout the state.
What’s not so good, though, is when the Legislature underwrites some lab schools with state funding but not others. It raises the question of whether the appropriation is based on considerations other than merit.
That’s the issue raised by the Clarion Ledger’s reporting this week about $850,000 that lawmakers have funneled over the past four years to a preschool operated by the University of Mississippi.
The Willie Price Learning Lab serves about 72 preschoolers currently but expects to grow that number by 50 percent in the fall. An Ole Miss spokesman said the preschool has used the state appropriation in past years to achieve and maintain its national accreditation. For the coming year, the suggestion is the school may use the earmark to subsidize tuition (which has been running about $6,000 a year) to families of modest means who work at Ole Miss or live in the Oxford area.
The Jackson newspaper reports, however, that there are three other universities and one community college with preschools that have the same national accreditation as Willie Price Learning Lab, but these other four preschools haven’t received a cent of state help to achieve that designation or for anything else.
So why does the Ole Miss preschool get the preferential treatment?
Probably because it has connections.
The Senate Education Committee chairman, Gray Tollison, is from Oxford and is an Ole Miss alum. A large number of lawmakers tend to have a soft spot for the state’s flagship university, as well.
If that’s what’s been going on, it isn’t right.
If the Legislature can afford to underwrite one college’s accredited lab school, it should underwrite all of them. If it can’t afford all of them, it should either fund none, or only authorize as many as it can support.
Editor and Publisher