Sunday, December 11, 2016

Dr. Gray shows why he is clueless and incompetent in his own words.

 The Jackson Public School District Board of Trustees fired Dr. Gray.  However, Dr. Gray didn't leave without defending himself in a column published in the Clarion-Ledger.  JJ is going to set the record straight because Dr. Gray took no responsibility for anything as he made excuses and cast blame anywhere he could. 

Let me begin by saying what an honor it has been to serve the citizens, parents and students of Jackson as superintendent. I thank the Board of Trustees for giving me the opportunity to become lead teacher for Jackson Public Schools. Jackson has some of the best students and educators in the country.

Upon my arrival to Jackson in 2012, the headlines for the district read, “JPS is Broke!” and “JPS Placed on Probation.” JPS was disputing with the city of Jackson ad valorem taxes and addressing concerns with the bus drivers for a raise in pay. We were operating with a below-functional fund balance, or rainy day fund, while struggling with the perception of a top-heavy cdentral office.

In the time that I have been here, I am proud that we reduced central office personnel by 5 percent and increased the fund balance from $3.5 million to $15.1 million. We also lifted the district from the threat of lawsuit by completing the Corrective Action Plan, which was created to remove the district from probation for violations in how scholars with special needs are educated.

 Dr. Gray speaks truth.  The district was so poorly run that it had not provided a mandatory annual audit in three years.  The new Superintendent made that one of his first priorities.   JPS is in somewhat better financial shape than it was five years ago.  However, less than 44% of the employees are teachers.  Better-run school districts have a workforce that is more than 50% teachers.  JPS spends nearly $60 million more per year than Desoto County even though Desoto has more students (and more IEP students as well). 

Bus transportation was also a huge challenge, but we met it with resolve and a solid plan. Our buses are much closer to being on time now despite transporting scholars to special programs across town every morning and afternoon. This was achieved without outsourcing our transportation services.

Uh-huh.  The MDE Audit stated that buses were late delivering students to several high schools.  There is no excuse for even one bus running late on a regular basis.  He had five years to fix this problem and yet he can only brag that his buses are "much closer" to being on time.  What would another five years bring in regards to this problem?

We have increased major partnerships to include Alignment Jackson, Hope Community Credit Union, Rickey Smiley Foundation, Kellogg Foundation and many, many more. This is attributed to strategic planning and through building trust and relationships that have improved the educational opportunities of our city’s children.

Fluff. 

I, like many others, am disappointed that our district is currently labeled F. We were only 16 points from a D. It is promising that our scores went up and not down. However, the cut scores for an A letter grade were lowered and the cut scores for F were raised by the Mississippi Department of Education for all school districts across the state. In 2014, we had 17 F schools and reduced them to two. We still have the top-rated elementary and middle schools in the state of Mississippi. The governor and state superintendent both agree that it is not fair to be punitive about a test result after the first time taking the test.

 Funny.  The Rankin County, Madison County, Pearl, Clinton, and Hinds County public school districts did not suffer lower ratings even with the changes.  Hmm.... no one but JPS has a problem.  Maybe the problem is Dr. Gray and JPS.  Dr. Gray's use of the "top rated" schools in Mississippi is somewhat of a rhetorical trick.  The schools he cites are magnet schools.  In other words, the students are cherry-picked.  He is comparing two specialized magnet schools (with entrance exams) to regular schools throughout the state.  Those two schools should rank higher than regular schools.

What Dr. Gray does not say is that the number of failing schools doubled during his second year of tenure. The number of failing schools got back to where he started the next year and then fell some more last year.  JPS literally took two steps back and one step forward under his leadership.

The third-grade reading gate showed that several so-called "A" schools saw a quarter of their students fail the reading test.  Several elementary schools saw nearly half of their students fail the test.  Dr. Gray opposed the reading-gate tests but JPS improved last year.   Dr. Gray sees a D rating as success.  Most middle and high schools are still a D or an F five years later.  Most of his improvement has come from improvement among elementary schools are higher-level schools that moved from F to D.  That is what passes for success with the departed Superintendent. 

Another major challenge are charter schools that are also struggling academically to meet the state’s new testing standards. Their D and F letter grades reflect the same academic challenges as many other public schools across the state.

Fair enough.  However, look at the ratings of the feeder schools for those charter schools and one will see what the problem is.   Reimagine Prep showed substantial improvement among its worst students.  The kids started in fifth grade- after four years of poor education in JPS.  Give them another year or two.  They can handle the criticism.  See Nick Saban's first year at Alabama.

Over the last three years, we have increased the graduation rate and lowered the dropout rate. In the Hechinger report from Oct. 27, Andre Perry indicated that JPS has a high poverty rate and has been under-funded for years. According to the writer, JPS has battled underfunding but has still done more with less. Graduation rates increased almost 3.5 percent in one year. Attendance increased while discipline violations decreased for high school freshmen. Third-grade proficiency rates increased 8 percent in one year.

Higher graduation rates and lower dropout rates are indeed good things.  JPS indeed has a high poverty rate and unfortunately, a high rate of single-parent homes among students.  It is hard to take Dr. Gray's claims that JPS is underfunded when JPS is top-heavy and spends nearly $60 million more than Desoto County even though it has 2,000 fewer students.  JPS also spends much more money per student than the other Jackson metro area public school districts.

Then there is the Kingfish's personal favorite: The professional service fees for the refinance of the 2007 bonds.  JPS refinanced $118 million in bonds last year.  JPS paid $548,000 for the first bond issue.  JPS spent $1.2 million for the refinance.  $348,000 for a financial adviser.  $600,000 for lawyers.  It was Christmas time indeed for the favored few at JPS.  Dr. Grey even tried to award a $500,000 contract to the same financial adviser to draft a budget but the school board for once did its duty and stopped that madness.  Don't take JJ's word for it, read the post for yourself. That extra $652,000 could pay for quite a few uniforms for students and pay some salaries for teachers but I digress.  Dr. Gray isn't through tooting his own horn.

There is also one subject that Dr. Gray glossed over- school discipline.  It is quite telling that he claimed there were fewer incidents among freshman.  What about the other eleven grades?  The MDE audit ripped his record on school discipline to pieces.  25% of the school resource officers were not certified.  There were numerous fights at schools.  JPS employees are not allowed to contact JPD.  Students and teachers were seen playing around on cellphones in class. A parent waved a gun at one high school.  JPS tried to cover up the injuries one 13-year old suffered.  Students roam the halls and leave campus at will at several schools.  Read the whole sordid post about the school discipline.  Of course, Dr. Gray didn't mention any of these problems in his column.  He ignored them as he did so many other problems. 

During my tenure, there were many accomplishments. We migrated the district’s email to the cloud by utilizing Microsoft Office 365 at a significant cost savings, which eliminated mailbox size restrictions for teachers and principals. We launched the district to its first-ever 1:1 digital initiative, in which all ninth-grade high school students in JPS were given access to a laptop computer. We hired more than 500 certified teachers, implemented an automated substitute teacher placement process, eliminated long lines and waiting by launching online registration, increased the district’s fund balance by nearly 50 percent and implemented a new website at the district and school levels.

He served as superintendent for five years and he first brags about changing email systems? New websites? digital initiatives? These are his major accomplishments? He may have hired 500 certified teachers but that MDE audit said

Many professional positions in the District are filled by staff who do not hold a valid Mississippi Teacher’s License or who are not properly endorsed for the subject they are teaching. (p.14)

The District has a high teacher turnover rate and teacher abandonment of jobs....

 79 of the 1643 certified teachers employed by the District are working outside their areas of certification in academic core subjects. Approximately 200 of the 1643 teachers have no certification or are improperly certified. (p.16).. Read it for yourself.  
Now it's time to shoot the messenger:

As a leader, I expect and am accustomed to public criticism, but I admit it is disheartening when a group of misinformed individuals use social and traditional media to spread gossip, rumors and lies about the work of our amazing students, brilliant educators and dedicated administrators.

Oh really? Dr. Gray refused to talk to this correspondent.  Emails were sent and message to call back were left with Dr. Gray. Dr. Gray does respond to criticism or answer critical questions.  Every post about JPS has been supported with facts, videos, and documents.  Period.   However, Dr. Gray patted himself on the back as he closed out his defense: 

Despite the recent audits by MDE and poor academic rating, I have had three successful evaluations and had just received a contract extension. Additionally, we were poised to both clear the audit and make the grade in the spring. With support from U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. and national relationships brought forth through the National Association of School Superintendents as Superintendent of the Year, we were destined for greatness.

Cedrick Gray is the former superintendent of Jackson Public Schools.

That is the problem, Dr. Gray.  The school board doesn't exactly deserve any stellar ratings.  MDE said the school board:

 The school board has failed to effectively perform its duties in its role of oversight of management for the District as prescribed by law.

Dr. Gray gives the typical excuses one hears when a losing football coach is fired.  We finally have a great recruiting class. We finally got the right mix of coaches on the staff.  We were getting it turned around.  Dr. Gray took a D school district and turned it into an F.  There was little improvement among the middle schools and high schools while the few elementary schools that did well were specialized schools. JPS didn't get more efficient in how it spent its money. The MDE Audit  was damning yet Dr. Gray could not even see fit to submit a response.  He did manage to find the time to grandstand for the tv cameras and claim how unfair the whole process was. 

This farewell column shows that Dr. Gray still doesn't get it.  The column brings to mind this old passage from a sci-fi novel:

The analysis was the most difficult of the three by all odds. When Holk, after two days of steady work, succeeded in eliminating meaningless statements, vague gibberish, useless qualifications in short, all the goo and dribble he found he had nothing left. Everything canceled out."

"Lord Dorwin, gentlemen, in five days of discussion didn't say one damned thing, and said it so you never noticed.
 Good riddance to this clown. 

 Kingfish note: Save the severance pay for another discussion.  A public records request was submitted to JPS.  A post on the subject will be published when those records are obtained.

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

Gray and the JPS board will keep repeating the same old tired excuses until they have run out their tenures and pass the baton to the next set of morons who will do the same thing until they leave office. In the meantime they'll make their money, take care of their friends, and enjoy as much job security as incompetence can obtain. That's the game. They can't play any other game because they don't live in the world of merit-pay, performance based promotion, or anything that would require results. They think that their good intentions regarding the children justifies their continued employment and compensation. Results aren't so important. This way of life has been good to them personally and they can't imagine changing. They simply don't recognize the problem and don't want to face it. Really. Sad but true.

Anonymous said...

"Foolish consistency ...."

Anonymous said...

I have never been fired for being unqualified or for unsatisfactory performance, but if I had been, I would take the $200,000.00, go home, and keep my mouth shut. If I find I am a little short of $, I would sell a couple of bow ties to make ends meet.

Anonymous said...

Trump talk! Maybe this dweeb can find meaningless employment in the former USSR.

Anonymous said...

Very well put 8:33 PM.
There is no solution. Like Bennie Thompson being elected over & over again in counties that continue to be the lowest in all areas in the Nation.
This is the same thing that is happening in the indian reservations.
Their leader do not produce anything for their people.
But everyone knows this. How sad for the poor kids. They don't stand a chance.

Anonymous said...

Does wearing a bow tie make you stupid or do you have to be stupid to wear a bow tie?

Anonymous said...

When you live and work in a system (for decades) that rewards mediocrity and has never experienced anything else, this is the result. However, this district has not even achieved mediocrity. Indeed, the goal, as stated by Kingfish, has been to move up from an F to a D. And a D is viewed as acceptable accomplishment by this man and the board.

We almost got buses running on time. We tried real hard to find teachers to work in this war zone. We reduced central office staff by about 14 people. We streamlined the email system. And nobody was killed while on duty.

Sadly, this situation will repeat itself over and over. It's a merry-go-round of failure and failed leaders. They come and they go. And they leave with a satchel full of money.

The superintendents and the board members, the principals and the teachers....all look around like bobble-headed dolls pointing at each other and exclaiming, "Ain't nunna ME!"

Anonymous said...

Another major challenge are charter schools (sic)

This is the city's chief educator, folks.

Anonymous said...

There is no hope for JPS. It cannot be fixed by any mortal.

Anonymous said...

I don't believe charter schools are another major challenge, but charter schools are the subject of the sentence so I think "are" works. Charter schools are another major challenge. See? Maybe they didn't teach diagramming sentences at your rural academy.

Anonymous said...

Kingfish,

You mention several times that JPS spends $60 Million more per year than Desoto, with a smaller population. Yet you gloss over the fact that JPS has a poverty rate that is too high. You can't have it both ways. You can't compare JPS to Desoto and not factor in the challenges with poverty that JPS has. Are you suggesting that the leadership and staff in Desoto could do better with the student population of JPS? If so, I wonder why more of them wouldn't come and teach and lead in Jackson? After all, it pays more to teach and lead in Jackson than anywhere else in the state!!! According to the "free market", the answer to what ails JPS lies in the incentive and rewards for working there; you get what you pay for. Well, how do we explain JPS?

Anonymous said...

9:16 You obviously "was educated" in Jackson. Did they have math classes? Do you have any idea how much $60 million is? Never mind that the murder rate is is 35% higher than Chicago's. This man should be going to jail, not receiving a $200,000.00 severance package.

Anonymous said...

@9:16/Rachel James/Brad/

Because they are teachers, not soldiers or mercenaries? Because a little bit more money doesn't justify the crap they would have to go through? Because they don't want to dramatically increase the odds of being assaulted by a student?

Anonymous said...

9:40 and 9:31,
Then why even try to compare the two systems if there is no possibility that what Desoto does or has could be utilized or tried in Jackson? If teachers are not "mercenaries" , then why try to entice them with "merit pay" and such? That seems to be counter-intuitive to the business model championed by so many people when addressing the challenges of public schooling ("you get what you pay for"?).

The reality is that public schooling is not a business, and the challenges with JPS cannot be addressed simply by doing what Desoto does. In reality, nothing Desoto does would probably result in anything different than what JPS has been doing. Yes, $60 million is a lot of money. Yet, it's probably is a drop in the bucket compared to what concentrated poverty and residential segregation (the chief challenge and impetus of most of the other readily observable ills in JPS)has cost many the children in Jackson and the gap between what they have and what the children in Desoto (just a huge suburb of Memphis) have that DPS doesn't need to provide for them.

For kicks and giggles, what would anyone propose JPS do that could drastically improve the academic and social outcomes for the students?

Kingfish said...

I was waiting for you to show up.

Oh yes, that black child is soooooooo inferior (sarcasm) that he can't learn unless he is sitting next to a white child but the white child is sooooooooo superior that he can learn regardless of whether he is sitting next to a black or white child.

There are no bad students or bad troops but only bad leaders.

Thing is, you don't criticize the lower share of teachers and money wasted on non teaching employees. The consulting contracts passed out by the bushel. The bond fees paid out to connected cronies. No demand for a forensic audit to see what exactly is going on under the hood. It probably never even occurs to you to do any of those things. The surrounding school districts are much more efficient in how they use their money and SPEND LESS PER STUDENT. However, like Dr. Gray, you are good at manufacturing an excuse for any failure. Leaders lead, failures fail.

Then there is the concentrated poverty. You conveniently leave out the fact that probably 80% or more of these kids come from single parent homes or are born illegit. That means their chances of starting school properly prepared are much lower. Such obstacles can be overcome but you need to do things such as restructuring or lengthening the school day to do it. In other words, change the model, break the glass, that sort of thing. But that would require money and that would require JPS to get its financial house in order but it would be a good start.

Anonymous said...

Its simple people the school system is a failure. Stop making excuses and fix the problem. You need someone to fix the discipline problem and teach the kids. You need a kick ass Superintendent who is allowed to do their job. Stop playing the race card and get your kids ready to learn!!!

Anonymous said...

Why not pull a page out of the old playbook. In the 60's and 70's, they transported students in Mississippi via busses to achieve parity. This really worked out well (not).It did create parity via bringing the good schools down to the levels of the bad schools. Since the powers that be are so short sighted, try it again with the TEACHERS. Share the misery.

Anonymous said...

Great work Fish. A detailed accurate appraisal of a problem of huge importance to the entire metro area. Thank you - no one else dareth look at this impartially.

Real estate investor coming soon said...

Solutions

1. Deconcentrate poverty via gentrification of Jackson. The poor, low income and moderate income families in Jackson don't own anything.
2. While implementing #1, start an independent school district simultaneously with JPS. See the Houston Independent School District for more information on how this can be achieved.

You're welcome!

Anonymous said...

11:09...Are you the same poster who earlier thanked The Fish for doing 'what nobody else would do' by investigating and reporting on PERS? What else are you good for? But.....thank you for doing it.

Anonymous said...

People will continue to make all kind of excuses and blame everyone they can. Jackson is a horrible school system. The people in charge are so damn stubborn about finding black teachers and black admin that they have destroyed the schools. Now there is no competent people who would work in JPS. If they know what they are doing and actually care they know it will take a very long time and a lot of very hard work to bring JPS up to just a failing position.

Anonymous said...

it starts with discipline...when schools put a board on your butt - things worked a lot better- "law and Order"...kids cant learn in a war zone.

also, the JPS board is clueless....giving Gray almost $200k out the door..'nough said! ( actually should have never been hired in the first place)

No need to go out of state to hire these incompetents..we have excellent talent locally that can do a much better job than these out of state hires..


Anonymous said...

Remedial Grammar for JPS Grads and Former JPS Superintendents

Another major challenge are charter schools

The word another is singular, meaning that the following verb must be singular. The object (in this case charter schools) should also be singular, but the plural expressed here can be inferred as a single concept or idea. So the sentence should properly read:

Another major challenge is charter schools

or for those who need it spelled out,

Another major challenge is the issue of charter schools

Anonymous said...

mo money honey, mo money. It is the only solution.

Anonymous said...

Kingfish,

So the bond contracts, consulting fees, and other "inefficiencies" are the reason why JPS is labeled an "F" district"? Or is it the single parent households, the "illegit" children, or the inept teachers and leaders that are the problem? I wonder, why do you think that the predominantly black districts seem to struggle in these areas? Why is it that the suburban districts have all of the answers for student achievement, yet, none of those leaders are signing up to teach and lead in JPS? I wonder, are the efficiencies and expertise they have, as evidenced by their higher accountability grades, more reflective of the relative lack of poor black and brown students they are charged to teach, due to residential segregation? Check the recent HUD lawsuit in Ridgeland to see how these suburban districts really game the system for those accountability ratings.

The reality is that too many state political leaders willfully ignore history and social realities of this state to address the root causes of the concentrated poverty and residential segregation that lead to these challenges that we see in JPS. Yes, when white fight takes place, its not just white children that leave, but the resources they represent that were distributed unjustly throughout the history of Mississippi under segregation that leave as well. To primarily fund schools through property taxes, and then create communities where the property values are significantly lower does place the schooling of children in these communities at a significant disadvantage. It is easy to blame the voiceless, poor single mothers and their "illegit" children because they, for the most part, don't have the resources to clap back. But, no one ever explains how to really make student achievement better for poor black and brown students with real, doable practices and policies. They just spew thinly veiled racist diatribes about single moms and inept leaders in the black community, but are too afraid to really disrupt the status quo by advocating for truly diverse schools, both racially and socio-economically.

Dear Jackson Fake Press said...

@2:01 PM
You must have a PhD in Victimology! Your obsession with "white flight" as the root cause of Jackson's failed school district is greatly displaced. Jackson has experienced not only white flight but black flight, Asian flight, Latino/Hispanic flight, low middle class flight, middle class flight, upper middle class flight, upper class flight, top 20%, 5%, 2%, and 1% income earners flight!

Jackson Grades

1. Public safety and security = F
2. Education = F
3. Housing =F
4. Businesses =D
5. Technology = F
6. Transportation = F
7. Infrastructure = F
8. Healthcare = C

Overall quality of life = Big Fat "F"

Gentrification of Jackson is the only solution!

Anonymous said...

Immediate solutions:

After determining which teachers need to stay, what administration needs to stay who are the great teachers-- CLEAN HOUSE

Work with national organization to bring in the Marines equivalent of educators, i.e., established, high quality teachers with very high paid 2-3 year commitments. (A group of not TFA, but proven, TFA alumni for example).

Incentivize some of those teachers to stay longer while also working to build out sustainable, local, long term pipelines for quality educators. (State could give massive tax credit for home ownership in areas)

Put a ton of resources and money into specialized alternative education. Both in terms of educators experienced in it and the resources available at the alternative school. Enforce strict discipline and have low tolerance and CLEAN HOUSE of students who have major behavior issues. Send them to alternative education where there might be help for them to be integrated back with traditional education.

With quality educators in place, and a decent initial stop-gap safety net in place, you could then begin to focus on the social issues.

You would have to accept that most middle school and high school students would be lost, save who you could, but you would be building for the generation 10 years from now.

Anonymous said...

Gentrification will never happen in Jackson without a functional Hinds County criminal justice system. A new, bigger jail, an honest non-drug addict DA and two additional Circuit judges doing criminal cases 100% of the time might be a start.

Anonymous said...

2:43,
Again, thinly veiled racism is the only response when asked about real, workable solutions . "Gentrification" means simply "get the poor black people out before we with real resources will ever invest in these communities". Has anyone ever paused to think about how investing in the actual people in these communities could really create social mobility for them and a better quality of life for all? How about working to create culturally responsive and academically superior schools for poor students? Aren't they worthy of a real opportunity for the "American Dream" as anyone else?

Many people are quick to talk about a "kick butt" school leader who "won't tolerate bad behavior" like there aren't plenty of those types in JPS that aren't really moving the needle when it comes to creating school environments that lead to academic success for most of the students they are charged to teach. I wonder, are many of the people complaining about the leadership and "inefficiencies" of JPS truly interested in seeing these students achieve academic and intellectual development, or cultural assimilation?

Anonymous said...

It is very hard to teach a child if that child does not want to learn. That is the problem with JPS. You can spend the most money and get the best teachers but you cannot force a child to learn. The adult people left in Jackson are not educated and they do not care if their children are educated or not. Many of the children who attend JPS do not even know both of their parents. They spend most nights running the streets. They do not have time for school.
No matter what happens JPS is not going to improve until the children want to learn. The children are not going to want to learn until their parents instill it early in life.

Anonymous said...

2:46,

I do appreciate your deeper thinking on this issue. Alternative education , when used most effectively, is a stop gap measure to address counseling and mental health issues. I would advocate for other models , like restorative justice, community and peer remediation, and a more engaging and relevant curriculum, before I would send a very select few students with dire behavioral challenges to alternative education.

Also, behavioral challenges stem primarily from a lack of academic skill development that causes fear and anxiety in most students, causing many act out with disruptive behaviors. Better early childhood education, staring with Pre-K and K (which are both not funded nor mandated by the state, I wonder why?) would help tremendously. Also, a more culturally responsive and relevant academic program, that teaching content and skills that can directly address social, economic, and other community challenges these students face (mandating black and other cultural studies in a more structured and sustainable way, helping with STEM and technology integration into the instruction and curriculum, mandating internships and job shadowing on a more regular basis, having dynamic arts programming and real entrepreneurial experiences for the students)could be a more proactive strategy to address behaviors. Engaged students are better behaved students.

As far as teaching, yes better teachers are needed. But, the questions becomes what makes a better teacher? A disciplinarian, someone who is expert in the academic subject that they teach? What would make this person a better teacher? Are there any teachers who would teach in a community for a sustainable amount of time where the community was under resourced, where the students had so many extra academic challenges that it renders teaching them academic skills untenable? How could some structure successful schooling in communities like this, without addressing the obvious community development challenges ? I do agree that there could be better economic incentives , like tax credits, better loan forgiveness, housing allowances, etc.

Messick said...

3:27, 3:07 (same person);

You post here often, I recognize the language.

Same thing, just re-heated.

Of Bow Ties and Pin Stripes said...

The example given was, "Another major challenge are charter schools (sic"

In that sentence, 'challenge' is the subject. Subject-verb agreement requires a singular verb. A challenge IS. Never say 'a challenge are'. Charter schools isn't the subject; challenge is the subject.

If charter schools can be viewed as a singular concept (like ham and eggs), then reversing the sentence structure, you should say 'charter schools is'. Ham and eggs is my favorite. IT is.

If you are speaking of a variety of school buildings, you would say 'charter schools are'. Ham, eggs and grits are my favorites. Grits is my favorite. Depends.

If the vocational school has an automotive repair class and one of the primary sections in that class is 'carburetors', then it would be proper to say, "Carburetors is the section I really hated." Ineffective carburetors, like ineffective superintendents, will cause the whole damned thing to sputter and fail.

Kingfish said...

Rack him.

Share The Wealth.. said...

3:07; Where have you been since 1964 and Lyndon's birthing of the Great Society.

You queried, "Has anyone ever paused to think about how investing in the actual people in these communities could really create social mobility for them and a better quality of life for all?"

Well....Yes. Millions have 'paused to thing about' it. And billions have been wasted on the concept that you think is an original thought. But, if you have a new theory on this, please do continue.

Anonymous said...

5:22, you get an F. First of all, you can't even spell the example you are using. Second, charter schools are the subject of the sentence. What they are, is a challenge, the claim which with which I disagree, but the use of are in that sentence is appropriate

Anonymous said...

10:16: 5:22 is right. Get someone to read Strunk and White's "The Elements of Style" to you.

Slowly.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).


Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.


In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.


Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS
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