Friday, December 23, 2016

JPS still doesn't get it.

Give the good Doc some credit.  Mississippi Superintendent of Education Dr. Carey Wright walked into the lion's den and delivered a stern warning to the Board of Trustees for Jackson Public Schools Tuesday night.  Dr. Wright flat out told the crowded room that JPS faces the real possibility of a state takeover. A transcript of her speech is posted below.  JJ strongly urges readers to read her speech if they care at all about Jackson.  

An MDE audit released last summer found many schools were unsafe, lacked licensed teachers, graduated students that did not meet the requirements, and  teachers that did not control their classrooms.  JPS Superintendent Dr. Cedric Gray blew off the audit as he didn't even ask for a hearing to contest the audit.  The first corrective action plan submitted by JPS was a joke as MDE said it was "inadequate".  MDE is currently conducting a full audit of the entire district. Dr. Wright's remarks provide some of the preliminary findings for the current audit and frankly, JPS is in serious trouble.  Dr. Wright's said:




Good evening President Burt, Vice-President Jones, Trustees and Interim Superintendent Dr. Murray. I appreciate the opportunity to speak with you today.

I am here this evening because I feel it is my duty to alert the entire Board of Trustees about my serious concerns regarding Jackson Public Schools and the 27,000 students served by this district. I discussed my concerns with the Board’s President, Vice-President and Interim Superintendent during a meeting on November 11th and in a conference call on December 13th. I also shared my concerns with State Board of Education members during the Board’s December 15th meeting. I am here this evening to ensure that every person responsible for leading JPS understands the severity of the issues facing the district.

I am pleased to see so many community members present. This is a critical time for JPS, and community support and involvement is essential to the district’s future success.

As you know, JPS had its accreditation status downgraded to probation in August after a Mississippi Department of Education audit cited numerous concerns related to school safety and instructional practices, among others. The concerns cited in the June 15, 2016, preliminary audit report required immediate attention.

However, since that time, school and district leaders have not demonstrated the sense of urgency that is needed to address the major problems that are preventing the students of JPS from getting the education they deserve.

I will provide some examples of what MDE representatives have reported from the on-going, full investigative audit that is currently underway:

Following on-site school visits conducted this fall, MDE staff have reported inappropriate physical contact with children (such as pulling a child by the arm), as well as inappropriate verbal interactions, including but not limited to, teachers raising their voice at children, shaming and humiliating children, using a harsh or sarcastic voice while communicating with the children, and teachers being irritable with children. We reported these concerns to district officials during our meeting on November 11th.

During a recent visit to a high school, MDE staff reported the following:

* Students arriving to school as late as 9:30 a.m.
* Students walking through metal detectors, setting off the alarm and having no further inspection
* School staff continuously trying to contact the principal with no success
* Classes with no teachers
* Students wandering the halls and classrooms
* Students sleeping in classrooms or using cell phones during class periods to watch movies, use social media, play games, or listen to music
* Security guards in the building standing around talking and laughing,
* These types of occurrences were also documented in the June 2016 audit report.

MDE staff noted that it was apparent that the MDE’s presence on campus had absolutely no impact on the normal climate and culture of the school.

MDE staff have been in regular contact with JPS officials to provide assistance and support regarding the district’s Corrective Action Plan. This plan outlines the actions and timelines associated with correcting all deficiencies, including those related to instructional practices and sustaining safe schools.

The district’s initial Corrective Action Plan did not meet the standards of the State Board of Education. As a result, MDE staff met with the Interim Superintendent and District Level Administrators to provide feedback regarding the revisions that were needed to bring the Corrective Action Plan up to standard. The State Board of Education approved the revised Corrective Action Plan on December 15th.

Even though the State Board approved the District’s Corrective Action Plan, I have serious concerns that the district is not taking the immediate actions needed to resolve its issues related to school safety and instructional practices. I felt compelled to inform the entire JPS Board of Trustees about the alarming conditions MDE representatives observed at these school and to convey my serious concerns about the District’s ability to effectively implement its Correction Action Plan.

Crafting a plan is one thing. Executing the plan is an entirely other matter. Every leader in JPS must act with urgency to take the necessary steps to ensure quality instruction is provided in a safe learning environment for all students each and every day.

Buses must arrive on time. There must be a teacher in every classroom teaching students. Schools must be safe for children to learn. Those are just the bare essentials of what is needed to run a functional school.

There are 58 schools in JPS. Four are A schools. Five are B schools. Seven are C schools. That means 16 schools are meeting or exceeding expectations. One of those schools, Davis Magnet School, has the highest reading proficiency rate among all elementary schools in the state. Another school, Baker Elementary, has the highest reading growth. This shows what is possible for all of JPS. (KF Note: all but one of the A schools are specialized or magnet schools.  Cherry-picked students.)

JPS also has 21 D schools and 21 F schools. This means 42 schools are not succeeding in educating the children for which they are responsible. The children in these schools matter. They are just as important as the children in the schools that are succeeding.

There is nothing different about the children in these two groups of schools. All of the schools in JPS can be successful. It can be done. Everyone who has a stake in the success of JPS needs to be actively involved and vigilant about ensuring the district’s Corrective Action Plan is implemented with absolute fidelity. This is an opportunity for the district and community to work together on behalf of every student in the Jackson Public School District. All students must be held to high expectations.

The MDE has been actively involved in ensuring that district leaders understand what is expected to correct all deficiencies within the district. We could not have been clearer. However, we cannot do the work for the district. We are not in the classrooms every day. We do not oversee day-to-day school operations. The people in this district are the agents of change. This includes every teacher, administrator, staff member and parent in the Jackson Public School District. Every person who works for JPS is responsible for the successful implementation of the district’s Corrective Action Plan. Parents must be partners in this effort. This is absolutely critical.

The MDE intends to closely monitor the District’s implementation of the Corrective Action Plan and provide continued support and assistance. However, we can’t stress enough the continued concerns we have regarding the District’s response to improving instruction and safety.

If the MDE does not see immediate improvements regarding instruction and safety, we will need to revisit every decision we have made up to this point. The law requires the MDE to issue additional sanctions if there are not immediate actions taken to resolve these concerns.

Let me emphasize, it is not the desire or the intent of the Mississippi Department of Education to make a recommendation to take over the Jackson Public Schools. Rather, it is our hope that JPS will use this process as an opportunity to address the areas of concern.

However, the district is subject to having its accreditation status withdrawn by the Commission on School Accreditation if deficiencies are not removed during the time specified in the Corrective Action Plan. With State Board approval, the Commission is also authorized to request that the Governor declare a state of emergency if it finds:

* Corrective actions are not taken or deficiencies are not removed by the end of the probationary period; or
*The district violates accreditation standards that warrant immediate withdrawal of accreditation.

This means that the district must comply with its Corrective Action Plan AND prevent serious violations that would warrant a declaration of an extreme state of emergency.

The Commission on School Accreditation may determine that an extreme emergency exists if any one of the following three conditions are found in a district:

*The safety, security, or educational interests of the children enrolled in that district are jeopardized,
*A school district meets the State Board of Education’s definition of a failing school district for two consecutive full school years, or
*If more than 50% of the schools within the district are designated as Schools at Risk in any one year. School at Risk is defined as a failing school in any one year.

If the Governor declares a state of emergency in JPS, the law requires that the local school board be dissolved and every staff member in the district becomes an at-will employee. The district would immediately lose its accreditation, and students would be eligible to transfer out of the district. Also, one year after accreditation is withdrawn, all extracurricular activities, including athletics, would be reduced by half. This is not a scenario that anyone wants to see happen.

In closing, I want to emphasize MDE staff will continue to provide the support and technical assistance to the district to resolve the deficiencies on record. However, if the district is not making the appropriate and timely progress or it is determined that the safety, security and educational interest of the students is jeopardized; there will be a need to discuss further options.

The stakes could not be higher for JPS.

I urge you to act with urgency and use this opportunity to make immediate changes for the sake of the students of Jackson Public Schools.

Kingfish note:  It is no surprise that Dr. Wright was forced to admonish the school board.  Most of the trustees have been government employees, consultants, and employees at non-profit organizations.  Individuals who are ill-suited to lead or take quick, decisive action when needed.  Such people are better at manufacturing excuses than they are positive results and have managed to drive JPS into the ditch.  


Read these earlier posts to learn what MDE said in it's audit
The Superintendent does not provide effective educational leadership."
Audit shows dark and dangerous side of JPS schools

Send an email to kingfish1935@gmail.com if you wish to get a copy of the audit.  

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

Interesting comment by our fearless MDE leader. "Students will have the option to leave the district" ...and go where? Clinton, Rankin, and Madison would be glad to take on failing students and show growth.. take a look at the state grading scale for districts. If a student shows growth that makes the grade go up, those kids have nowhere to go but up!

Simply amazing. Some interesting statistics pop in my head during all this talk.. Kingfish do you know about Quality Distribution Index(QDI) and ratio to graduation statistics for JPS? that would be some very compelling data to accompany this topic.. the state stopped recording in 2013 but still relevant as a majority of those students are still enrolled.

Geoffrey Canada's research comes to mind here as well.

Very expensive and heartbreaking decisions ahead. Simply put SAD!

Anonymous said...

Declare a state of emergency and get it over with. This board and this administration is hopeless and hapless and will never take the hard steps to effect change.

Now, On To Solutions.. said...

1:06..What ARE those 'hard steps to effect change'? Please provide your short list. Not a narrative, please, just a short list of steps. Thanks.

Be sure you include your options for dealing with collateral damage.

Anonymous said...

Kingfish, your note stated my exact sentiments. Too many government employees and others who are not held accountable for their actions comprise this board. This is what our outrageous property taxes help fund. If you take athletic programs away from these schools and truly try to educate these kids then you will see very quickly that academics is not what they try to attend school for. It's sad to say, but that's the way the inner city schools operate these days. As I said before, an uneducated group is not employable. They are only hurting themselves.

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget who makes the appointments to the school board....the mayor. And look how the city is doing. See any similarities? It would be nice if the governor could take over both city and the district at the same time and start over with them both as they are being run by same types of morons from the same circles.

Anonymous said...

A takeover would have less political had they not started with the airport, which is the very last thing that needed a take over. Of course, there's more money to dole out from running the airport than from running the schools and water department.

Anonymous said...

During the last superintendent search, rumor has it that Jim Barksdale offered to help with the superintendents salary to go get the best national candidate possible. If that's true and the board turned it down, then they should join Dr Bow-Tie in the unemployment line.

Inquiring minds want to know.

Anonymous said...

8:26. Not rumor at all. Fact. He did. They didn't.

Anonymous said...

Albert Einsten and Robert Oppenheimer could not fix JPS. They might be okay with WMD's but they would be useless at JPS. The Gret Stet of Misippi would be insane to wade into that quagmire. It is hopeless.

Anonymous said...

The longer the wait until some action is taken the more children will loose their chance for an education. From a person on the outside looking in it looks like the city of Jackson wants to become even more of a cesspool than it is and keep the children as uneducated as possible. I just can't understand the reason. Do the parents of the children really want an uneducated child that will more than likely end up in jail?

The only thing JPS is preparing the children for is a sad short life filled with hardships. What is there that makes the whole city agree with that?

bill said...

A state takeover won't change the most important reason that the JPS schools are failing - failing parents. The state can't legislate that parents get involved in their kids' educations, and that's the difference between JPS kids who make it and the ones who don't. Yes, one will rise above his circumstances from time to time and become the exception to the rule, but generally the kids who do well in bad schools are the ones whose parents are deeply involved in their educations.

Additionally, we should be giving these kids something that will actually make them productive citizens. I don't need anyone to tell me when the Magna Carta was signed, but I'll probably need my air conditioner repaired at some point. Put some money and effort toward trades training in high school instead of depending on the community colleges. Maybe they won't be so quick to leave high school if they can get a practical education out of it.

Anonymous said...

Is it possible to post a copy of the JPS Corrective Action Plan with timelines?

Anonymous said...



"8:26. Not rumor at all. Fact. He did. They didn't."
December 23, 2016 at 9:19 AM

They didn't accept his offer.
or
They didn't turn down his offer.

Which is it?

Anonymous said...

The people who run JPS have been raised on the philosophy that government can subsidize mediocrity for as long as inequality exists. The "no child left behind" policy only reinforced this ideology. Jackson will have to undergo the traumatic effects of an organizational enema like Patterson N.J. under "Crazy Joe" to change the culture. That means an unfortunate group of young people will be jettisoned or "left behind" so that the serious students and their parents can move forward. It's drastic and it's regrettable but like any amputation it's done so that the rotten limb doesn't kill the body. It will take a leader who doesn't flinch when he's condemned as insensitive and "crazy". The current board won't hire such a man. They simply can't do it...but it will get done eventually. The board will change when serious parents demand that unthinking politicians save their kids from this slow death. It will happen.

Kingfish said...

Barksdale offered. I don't think JPS formally declined, it just didn't do anything.

See, this is where Loome, Jay Hughes, and their allies fall down. All of their campaigns and theories run into a brick wall when it comes to JPS. Hence why they never say anything where JPS is concerned.

Anonymous said...

In reference to QDI, JPS is graduating over 80% of its pupils at or below basic. Which means learning nouns and pronouns in Senior English or English IV. The state has already semi taken over with the 3rd grade reading gate.

Solutions? Hire Morgan Freeman from "lean on me."

Anonymous said...

9:57, what you have posted sounds good. One thing that you seem to have forgotten. What trade do you know where the people do not need to have basic reading skills or basic math? These are the skills the children should learn in the early school grades. If you wait until high school you will have very few to teach a trade to.

Behavior is very important. There is little chance a child will learn if there isn't behavior in school. Even those who want to learn cannot. It doesn't take very many kids misbehaving in a classroom to stop the learning process. Especially when there isn't a teacher in the classroom.

JPS has so many problems it is very hard to find a starting place. The people in charge today are absolutely useless. A state take over is the only chance the children have. They already have the majority of the JPS admin. and the majority of Jackson citizens working against them.

Kingfish said...

12:44: Ever since Wright, Porter, and Stokes came to town, a great deal of raw data that was formerly available on the MDE website disappeared or has not been updated.

Anonymous said...

@12:44 - speaking as a Clinton School District parent, no thank you - we've got enough of our own to deal with.

Anonymous said...

Almost every child is born a clean slate ready to learn. The number of schools that are teaching shows that 98% (appx.) are capable of learning if the environment in school is calm and the teachers are able to teach. A Principal must have control of his/her teachers and the students.

It makes me sad that school taxes have been raised repeatedly, major bond issue passed, and many students still are not benefiting. The whole thing revolves around discipline.

There have been some terrible parents since the world began who did not teach or care much for their children. Students from bad homes with absentee/impaired parents were still able to learn when the classroom was conducive to learning. Students learned during WWII, for example. Ideally, students would not have the handicap of bad parenting, but that is not reality. Structure, discipline balanced with praise, lesson plans, and fear of the principal are all necessary and must be present to learn.

I blame JPS and its Board completely for the failure of the schools to teach. Disruptive students must be separated from the ones trying to learn. An operating cellphone in classrooms should be confiscated. Saturday detention is also needed.





Anonymous said...

It is time for JPS to try some different ideas. They should set up schools that are separated by gender. Part of the problem is that young male students at the height of their adolescence are put in the same environment with females, and naturally they will have something else competing for their attention rather than just learning. Try separate schools. This may help both genders. Also, how about a military camp style high school in Jackson for young males who are behavioral problems but not dangerous. Piney Woods has an all male boarding school right down the road from Jackson and they do fantastic work. The urban wasteland that is the city of Jackson has plenty of space and opportunity for a school like this. Finally, let the money follow the student in Jackson and through vouchers and charter schools, let the private sector offer better alternatives.

Anonymous said...

What a croc of s...! Get rid of the Reverends, PH.D. 's, and Interims and most importantly Dr. Wright's makeup artist. With the void of real leadership in the black community nothing will ever improve. Saw it firsthand in state takeover of Hazlehurst schools. Hundreds of thousands of dollars wasted and still failing. Ran off Barksdale's Teachers for America. All bow ties should be banned. When you have Board members that don't understand the difference between taking the high bid or the low bid on a 16th section timber sale you are in trouble.JPS is doomed. JPS will be worse with a state takeover and take years to undo the damage. MDE should be ashamed.

Anonymous said...

Before the teachers union, ACLU, Dr. Spock, and so-called behavioral psychologists became the absolute authorities at inner-city and black majority school districts, JPS was run by hard-line task masters who believed in fundamentals and discipline. I mean Jim Hill, Lanier, Brinkley, etc. They relied on tried and true teaching methods that stressed discipline and respect in and out of the classroom. They did not tolerate mess in their schools and they produced despite underfunding, discrimination, and being pissed on by the state that took their taxes. But they needed help in fighting the State of Mississippi which treated Black people like 2nd class dogs. The liberals lent a hand. Now, the schools have adopted policies that do not address the real needs of poor, semi-educated parents but keep the politicians and their friends fat and happy. Because these semi-educated parents remember those days of being pissed-on they do not trust anyone but the aforesaid liberal establishment to provide leadership. It's a tough situation, and it seems the only solution will come after these parents have become absolutely fed up with liberal bullshit in their schools. Many already have and choose to leave. Those left in JPS will change or suffer the consequences. I think the change will come. Too bad so many kids will be sacrificed in the meantime.

Kingfish said...

1:07:

The main problem is those kids don't get enough structure and stability. I'm not so sure a boot camp would fix the problem.

Vouchers sound good to conservatives but are not a magic pill. You have too many kids that have grown up under absentee parents or parent. They don't get the proper home training, they don't have respect for authority, they don't see how school benefits them. Say that kid is now 14 or 15 and several reading levels behind? Barely literate. Think a boot camp is going to help that kid out? If he does try, he probably fails and thus thinks "what's the use?".

Then there is the matter of the culture, an anti-intellectual culture among the kids. Kids have always picked on the smart ones but what do you do when there is an entire teen culture that considers kids who do well as Uncle Toms or "acting white"? Changing things in elementary school is one thing. Changing behaviors and patterns in high school is a different story.

F mickns said...

Did the approved JPS corrective plan include a schedule and timeline that addressed each and every critical deficiency with a date certain when actions would be started and completed? For MDE to say they don't see urgency, an obvious anecdotal opinion, without referring to the approved plan is, in my opinion, unprofessional, disingenuous, leads the casual observer to lean towards perhaps the underlying goal is to take over the district and not to allow JPS to make corrections, within a reasonable amount of time. It takes time to fire and hire new security guards to man hallways and metal detectors. How much time is reasonable? If JPS opts to hire a single security firm, will MDE and the State of Mississippi allow JPS to hire a private firm without going through the required 45-day procurement process? How much time to do this is reasonable? Does the approved corrective plan include this? Come on Dr. Wright, students come to school late every day, this is a red herring. School buses, like other mechanical modes of transportation, like airplane, trains and space shots are sometimes late. What is the “audited” and MDE standard on buses being on time? To just show up for one, two or three days, see a one-time problem and then come to the conclusion that “the buses are late” is ridiculous. JPS, like all of Mississippi’s school districts cannot hire teachers with certifications, or even hire substitutes with minimal training “immediately”. “Immediately” is not a measurable and accountable time frame, it is a whim. Unlike Charter schools the State of Mississippi has stringent hiring procedures that take time. Does the approved plan take this into consideration? Due to the seriousness of the safety charges, it behooves MDE have on record names, dates, times, sworn written statements, and other documentation that a) principals were not reachable, b) classrooms were avoidably without teachers. By the way, teachers, like most people and those under their care, can get sick or have personal emergencies). How much time elapsed from the time JPS was notified that the teacher was not in class before a replacement was supplied? Was this amount of time reasonable? If not what is the codified MDE standard. If JPS is taken over, I think this information will be needed for MDE to defend its actions in the inevitable court trial. Last but not least, let’s see audits of this type from other districts, or was this audit process only for JPS only? If the JPS audit was triggered by outside complaints, let’s get the details. As for administrators and teachers who do not do their jobs, JPS should take an aggressive stand and immediately begin the process of accumulating the “State mandated” documentation needed to get rid of these folks.

F mickns said...

Kingfish and 1:07. Piney Woods, like private and charter schools are not a good model for JPS to emulate. These alternative institutions have much smaller teacher pupil ratios and the ability to just kick problem or underachieving kids, and their families, out of school. As for JPS just removing behavioral problems, the bad kid alternative school is overflowing with no money for expansion. Where to start to fix the "urban school problem"? We already know what works. The Boys and Girls Club, Operation Shoestring, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Police Athletic Leagues, Boy Scouts, Little League baseball, after school athletic programs, after school arts programs. What is lacking is the political will to fund these “working models” at a level to truly make a difference. Millions for going to the moon, devastating Iraq and destabilizing Syria, but only pennies to mold young minds and spirits into fully functioning, productive and patriotic citizens.

Bet you $5 said...

@ 3:06. City of Jackson and JPS "will change" in the next 10-15 years when they undergo GENTRIFICATION! Urban cleansing please!

Anonymous said...

JPS is a government run fun camp aided by the light of a criminal "establishment". That's what it is and what it has been for quite some time. The parents know it. The teachers know it. The kids know it. The taxpayers know it.

It's time to pay the piper.

Anonymous said...

[Yet] another discussion that will NEVER take place at the Jackson Control Freak Press. Remember when the JPS audit first came out Donner said she's never seen any of the problems in her JPS school visits!

Making It Clear.. said...

3:06; You typed a long paragraph. But you pissed your leg when, in your first sentence, you mentioned 'teachers union'. Mississippi HAS no 'teacher's union'.

Anonymous said...

Come on everyone, there are over 100 cities over 174,000 population (Pop. of Jackson)in the US that teaches their kids at a level of education higher than Jackson. If they can do it, Jackson can too.
Need to buck up and put a successful plan in place.
Heck, if pearl, ms can do it Jackson certainly can. Oh, poo dunk pearl is beating Jackson. My, goodness.

Anonymous said...

White people bailed years ago.

Tax base plummeted.

De facto left a bunch of completely incapable people in charge.

A system set up to fail could not have been designed any better.

Same goes with infrastructure. Blame the "black" mayor. Blame the "black" cities.

It's a rope a dope. Money and experience leave.....tax base and knowledge base dissipate...and what? Things got bad? Really?

Solution?

As long as w stay divided by zip code, church, wedding party, political party.....there will be separate and unequal worlds. Fairness will be elusive.

Good news?

Trump may bankrupt us and force us to become one...united to get rid of him

Anonymous said...

Dear 10:07. Bullshit. Yes, a lot of folks have left, and the tax base plummeted. But JPS is still funded better than most every school district in the state. JPS spends more dollars per student than most districts, and has the poorest performance.

There are folks capable of being in charge, but they are in a minority. Its not the "black" mayor, but it is the 'black populace' that elects the various different mayors and council. They don't elect the people that can lead (black, white or purple). They don't vote for people that can deal with the infrastructure, the schools, or any other part of the city - except of course to let them get their own.

There is still money and experience in the city of Jackson. There is still a tax base and a knowledge base. Yes, the so-called leadership that is chosen by the majority that live here are not included in those definitions. So don't blame the ones that remain. Don't blame it on 'not enough money'. And frankly, this mess has absolutely nothing to do with Trump - but thanks for trying to include him in your diatribe.

Anonymous said...

Every time I see anything about JPS someone will come along and complain about the lack of money. Do these people ever read how much JPS spends on each child compared to other cities? No wonder JPS is in bad shape. The people who elect the leaders do not know how to read or count.

The children enrolled in JPS today do not have a chance. The piss poor performance of the admin and Jackson leaders have doomed them to a life of hardship and crime. Maybe if the people decide to really educate their children in the future the city of Jackson can change. If not we can expect Jackson to remain a cesspool full of criminals. It is their choice and there is no one else to blame.

Anonymous said...

Piney Woods is coed with students from all over the nation. They don't want your Jackson thugs,preferring students who are accomplished, disciplined and can pay some of the tuition.

Anonymous said...

7:38 Mississippi has its affiliate of the NEA National Education Association called the MAE. They represent teachers, they have policy statements, they influence politics, they collect dues. DUH.

My 2 cents said...

City of Jackson, JPS, JFP, and those "false-profit" organizations are ALL about POVERTY-PIMPING, nothing more!

Anonymous said...

@6:03 MDE will do just about anything to avoid a takeover and they certainly don't want to take over JPS. It would be all hands on deck all day long to try and tackle it. Up until now at least JPS wouldn't admit that they had a problem or needed help. The standards for emergency certification are pathetically low- a four year degree. That process can be done in a few days through MDE. JPS hasn't asked MDE to help filling positions. The administration has to be humble enough to ask for help- there are certain things MDE can't do unless it institutes a takeover. Dr. Wright is prepping the community for what is likely to happen by putting the board on notice- notice it ignored when it was done privately. JPS has lots of problems and most of them not easily solved. But, it is time for JPS to ask for help. Ask for Barksdale and whoever else is willing to come in and offer assistance. It might mean that the admins are driving buses for awhile to make sure they get there on time. It happens in rural districts every darn day. It means asking your community members to get background checked and come stand at doors and make sure students aren't bypassing the metal detectors. It means posting them at doors and not letting people pass in and out. It might mean posting people in classrooms to handle discipline so teachers don't have to stop their teaching. But, it means asking for help and admitting when you don't know how to fix something. There are lots of issues particularly with the upper grades and it will take years to conquer- but the current trend of sticking your head in the sand and wishing it away is making things worse.

Anonymous said...

@10:47 this is a right to work state with no collective bargaining. MAE does not operate like unions elsewhere. Teachers essentially join to have insurance that is all.

Anonymous said...

What makes a person or a group of people decide they will destroy the lives of young children just to pocket a little money or repay some wrong they might think was put on them in the past?
Have they ever took a good long look at that they are doing? Not only are they destroying the lives of their own children but also destroying the lives of generations in the future.
How can people sentence young children to a life without hope? How can they take away the life of a child and leave only the hope of a life of crime?

There has to be a special place in hell for people who will trade the lives of their children for a few dollars. A special place for people who will let something that happened in the past cost the future of the next few generations.

Anonymous said...

10:07 ...AND 1:08

Hurts, doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

We can send a man to the moon (40+ years ago), create self driving vehicles and transplant organs but we can't educate K-12 students?

Our current education system is a huge waste of effort and money. In this day and age you could almost let a couple exceptional teachers video their lessons and post them on youtube. Those willing to learn could stay home and learn online. It would certainly be cheaper and likely much safer.

Anonymous said...

When We decided that everyone had to have a college education, that vocational studies were demeaning, that everyone could be in the professional/service industry, that low paying, skill-learned jobs require a four year degree, etc, etc, education became big business. Centralized education doesn't work

F mickns said...

I read a copy of the JPS 20165-201 Correction Action Plan or “CAP” (approved 12/15/16).

http://www.jackson.k12.ms.us/c...

Approved plan did fact include specific start and completion dates. In a speech given on 12/20/16 MDSE's Dr. Wright cited the following issues observed through recent inspections at an unnamed JPS HS, as indications that JPS is not acting with urgency.

NOTE: JPS approved the withdrawal $750,000 from JPS's contingency fund in December to address MDE Audit findings.. It is yet to be seen if MDE also will approve of this withdrawal.

My comments are in parenthesis.
* Students arriving to school as late as 9:30 a.m. (I'm assuming this was a bus problem: Solution: more money to buy new buses, hire and train additional mechanics. Corrective Plan cites 4 new buses in service in December, GPS already installed on buses installed this October 2016. Two additional buses on order with deliver slated for 02/17 )
* Students walking through metal detectors, setting off the alarm and having no further inspection (This is not good. CAP cites October as the completion for retraining ad providing additional supervision for School Safety Officers. Obviously more needs to be done.)
* School staff continuously trying to contact the principal with no success. (I can’t figure this one out. This is not good)
* Classes with no teachers (This is not good. Keep in mind that MDE cited JPS for using school librarians and counselors to fill in for classrooms without teachers until a teacher of substitute can be assigned)
* Students wandering the halls and classrooms (This is not good. CAP cites October as the completion for retraining ad providing additional supervision for School Safety Officers. Obviously more needs to be done)

All in all, my cursory review of the approved CAP and the items cited during the most recent MDE inspection (12/16), in fact verifies, in my opinion, that JPS is in fact, not moving with appropriate urgency. I hope administrators and principals are working at their desks and in their schools during this Winter Break.

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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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