Skip to main content
All Posts By

Joann Mickens

Why Black Lives Matter: Then, Now, and in the Future

In the early 20th century, Harvard educated Carter G. Woodson along with the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) devised a plan to launch Negro History Week. Due to an underrepresentation of American Blacks in historical books and conversations, Woodson set out to change the narrative and ensure that the history of African-Americans was shared with the masses. According to Woodson, “If a race has no history, it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated” (Zorthian, 2016). Negro History...
Read More

Why Public Education is Essential to Our Democracy

Ensuring a well-informed citizenry is an essential purpose of our public education system. In schools across our nation, students learn civics and government and the concepts and principles that underpin our democracy. In order to sustain our system of government, Americans must be educated on their roles in our democracy and their responsibility to make decisions that determine the future of our nation. As future voters, our children must be made aware of the importance of their roles as citizens. In the weeks following the 2020 Presidential election, our country has experienced one of the greatest political controversies of the present century....
Read More

Remote Learning and Student Achievement: What We Currently Know

The events of this year have been unprecedented. From shutdowns, to quarantines, to mask mandates, COVID-19 has impacted so many areas of our daily lives until this new normal has become quite intrusive. One area that has been deeply affected by all of this is our nation’s public schools. Our school systems have been transformed by this pandemic and student achievement has suffered gravely as a result. In early March, school districts across our country shut down immediately and scrambled to provide virtual platforms to ensure students were able to continue their learning. In many instances, teachers and students were...
Read More

Family Involvement vs Family Engagement: What’s the Difference?

The month of November is filled with many holidays and events. Most notably, we have Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Thanksgiving, each one geared towards enjoyment or time spent with family and friends. However, nestled within the confines of these events is a holiday known as National Parent Involvement Day. National Parent Involvement Day is a day set aside to recognize the influence that parents have on schools and, more importantly, student achievement. It is a day set aside to allow parents to contribute to planned events hosted by their child’s school. As we all know, parent involvement far exceeds...
Read More

The Importance of Voting and Its Impact on Public Education

With the impending election less than two weeks away, the decisions we will make in early November are critical to the future of our country. These votes will determine our nation’s next President and other political leaders at every level of government. Those elected will have a significant impact on the policies that are enacted and the funding that is earmarked for our nation’s public schools. Public education is integral to the future of our country because it allows individuals to secure better jobs, leads to reduced crime rates, and ultimately affects the overall health of our country’s citizens. Further,...
Read More

“It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”…Indeed

September has been a month filled with events. With back to school for many of our nation’s students and a variety of holiday celebrations, this month has been filled to capacity. However, this month ends with a holiday that--during this season and in this climate-- needs to be celebrated because of its focus on the building of communities and the strengthening of bonds between individual citizens. This is none other than National Good Neighbor Day, and on September 28, 2020, we pause to celebrate and hopefully participate in this holiday. A Brief History of Good Neighbor Day National Good Neighbor Day...
Read More

Mississippi Community Supports International Literacy Day

We can take your business to the next level What is International Literacy Day?  International Literacy Day is an international holiday celebrated each year on September 8. This holiday was conceived in 1966 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). This holiday’s founding premise is to bring awareness to the challenges of literacy and allow for local community ownership and activism in the eradication of illiteracy.    MS Community Supports International Literacy Day Local citizens in a small town in northeast Mississippi, are also working to support International Literacy Day and to improve literacy within their community throughout the year.   The Okolona Book Nook Project has existed for roughly 40 years and is currently spear-headed by Barbara Carouthers, the local bookmobile librarian who is a graduate...
Read More

Delayed School Return Mandated for Some…Not All

Back to School The return to school for the 2020-21 school year has not been business as usual for educators around the nation.  Gone are the days of cheerful conversations, spirited welcome back rallies, and keynote addresses provided by district superintendents. This year’s return for educators is unprecedented and extremely stressful for all parties involved in the decision-making process.  As the news updates pour in regarding COVID-19 and as mandates are being established by the day or hour, public school leaders find themselves pondering many difficult questions. However, educating students is essential, and these leaders are working long days and...
Read More

A Letter to Education Leaders and Policymakers

Download English Version Download Spanish Version In collaboration with the undersigned organizations representing over a million families across the country, we as Parent Leaders, are raising our collective voice for healthy, equitable, and quality education options for our children in this upcoming school year. We proclaim that our wisdom and experience is essential and must be included in conversations and decisions to reopen/restart schools in the midst of COVID-19. As national, state and local education leaders and policymakers offer plans for reopening schools it is critical that Parent Leaders, with and on behalf of their children, are at the table as co-decision...
Read More

School Resources or School Resource Officers

The year 2020 has forced many Americans to reflect on equity in our country especially as it relates to law enforcement. Current times can easily be compared with the Civil Rights Movement, which began in the 1940s and continued into the 1960s. The unrest of that time culminated with then President Johnson signing into law the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Fast forward fifty-six years and the cries of the people can be heard yet again. This time the outcry concerns the treatment of minorities as it relates to law enforcement officers. The senseless killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota...
Read More
Help us continue our work for quality public schools for all children.Give to PPS today.

Help us continue our mission of empowering parents and securing high-quality public education for every child. Your support is needed as we continue our work.