Thursday, August 31, 2017

JPS faces a possible state takeover

Will the Mississippi Department of Education take over the Jackson Public Schools district? JPS flunked a very troubling MDE audit last year and faces a loss of accreditation by MDE.  MDE followed the 2016 audit with a more thorough audit for in the 2016-2017 school year.  MDE will take up the matter at the September 13 board meeting.  State Superintendent Dr. Carey Wright said:

MDE issues this statement:

The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) today released the report of its On-Site Investigative Audit of the Jackson Public School District (JPS), which found the district in violation of 24 out of the 32 standards that all Mississippi public school districts are required to meet.

The Commission on School Accreditation in August 2016 directed the MDE to conduct the full investigative audit of all 58 schools in JPS because a limited district audit of 22 schools cited severe deficiencies related to school safety and instructional practices. At the same time, the Commission downgraded the district’s accreditation to probation. The MDE conducted the full investigative audit of JPS from September 6, 2016 through July 31, 2017.

The MDE Office of Accreditation will present evidence to the Commission on School Accreditation, which will determine whether an extreme emergency exists in the JPS that jeopardizes the safety, security, or educational interests of the children enrolled in the schools in the District. In accordance with state law, the Commission will determine if such an emergency situation is related to serious violation(s) of accreditation standards, or state or federal law. The Commission meeting will begin at 10 a.m. on September 13 in the Fourth Floor Board Room of the Central High School Building, 359 N. West St., Jackson.

If the Commission makes any recommendation(s) at this meeting, the recommendation(s) will be presented to the Mississippi State Board of Education at the regularly scheduled meeting at 10 a.m. September 14 in the Fourth Floor Board Room of the Central High School Building. The Board will follow the same format as the Commission in allowing JPS and the MDE to address the Board prior to the Board’s determination.
The 680-page audit is posted below.  JJ is going to report the audit's findings in a series of posts so it is easier for readers to digest.  JJ followed a similar practice in posting the 2016 audit and it seemed to work pretty well.   Send an email to if you would like a copy of the audit emailed to you.  It was encouraging to get the many requests received last year for the audit. 

Earlier posts
JPS Gets Probation (JPS didn't even ask for a hearing on the audit findings)
Audit shows dark & dangerous side of JPS schools.
The Superintendent does not provide "effective leadership".


Anonymous said...

While MDE is f__g around putting off the inevitable, the students continue to suffer under the total and complete incompetence of the JPS "kingdom".

Publius said...

There is one clear choice. The state must take over JPS and open it up, in full, to charters. The results from New Orleans (and around the country) are staggering and the model is already there. Charters have done more for underprivileged black kids in the last 5 years than JPS has done in its history. To be blunt, there is little other hope for these children. The current situation is irreparable, and the political tide and leadership is right for this to happen - now. It is time for our leaders - white and black - to quit equivocating about what should happen. This is a moral imperative. We will all answer before a sovereign Lord one day and I wouldn't blame him for holding the travesty of JPS against us. We owe it to these kids.

Anonymous said...

All of this going on and all JPS can think about is renaming the schools named for Confederary related individuals. This is the tip of the iceberg of stupidity.

Anonymous said...

There's a story on the CL right now that reports that MDE chief Carey Wright is the highest paid state ed superintendent in the country. You have got to be shittin' me!!! Can somebody please explain why this is?!?!

Anonymous said...

1:40, it may be inevitable, but it appears to a reasonable mind that MDE is not 'putting off' anything. They are following the established procedures for these situations. If MDE did as you think appropriate (i.e. a North Korean approach) then the Jackson "leadership" that thinks them and their elected buddies could more legitimately scream and holler about the power structure (read, "whitey") taking away what is rightfully Jackson's to run - or ruin, depending on your choice of vowel selection.

Thankfully MDE, who I don't particularly hold in high regard for its leadership, is acknowledging and dealing with the cesspool known as JPS. Lets let them do it the proper way - with documentation and transparency, unlike the legislature's attempt to let Rankin County steal the airport (which unlike JPS, had nothing to do with its operation.)

Anonymous said...

If that is done, aren't all athletic programs suspended?

Anonymous said...

So sad. Charters will help, but only the ones who want to be helped. What happens to the other 80%? Trade school will pick up some, but there are students that won't be helped regardless of what we do.

Anonymous said...

I am for the state to take over as long as the current administration down to Principal level keep full pay and benefits but they should not involved. Also any phones and cars. Higher levels should also keep some administrative help. this is the proven pattern in Mississippi.

Anonymous said...


You may be right, but that doesn't give us an excuse not to try. These kids deserve better.

Justice for Colonel Reb said...


Anonymous said...

That youtube video must justify the extra $150K of her salary that she gets.

PittPanther said...

Please post the MS school district that has improved due to a state takeover. I'll wait.

Anonymous said...

You can't fix STUPID. JPS is a lost cause. Something should have done a long time ago.

Anonymous said...

What is deeply concerning is that Melvin Priester Jr. is a product of these schools. Should he renounce his seat on the City Council?

Anonymous said...

JPS must be absorbed into surrounding public school systems.

Half to Madison and half to Rankin.

Anonymous said...

I will do your homework for you PittPanther: Tunica and Aberdeen to name two. I will give you this--"improved" is a far cry from being good.

Anonymous said...

4:47, Priester spent most of his education at St. Andrews. Graduated from Murrah, moving there in 11th (or so) grade. And while there, in the small (5 or 6 students per teacher) advanced classes, not out with the masses. Would be nice to think he was a product, but don't think it would be appropriate accolade.

Anonymous said...

PittPanther, I would add to those noted above Oktibbeha County, which after state takeover was merged with Starkville. Granted, there are problems that the state has to start with the mess that exists when they move in, and for academic improvement that generally can't be achieved in a period measured in small number of years (just as a start-up charter, beginning with 4th or 5th grade, isn't going to show success first couple of years.) But the state can change the operational processes, get rid of the dead weight that often exists in the administrative management; replace an irresponsible board, and make other changes that can allow the district to continue improvement when it moves back to local control.

Besides, when it gets as bad as JPS, that is going in the wrong direction despite multiple audits and directives to 'fix' the operation, there is nothing to be lost. JPS administration obviously cares little about making some basic changes that are necessary - like requiring students to attend classes - to improve the district's performance. A takeover - that removes the administration despite 3:39's ridiculous desire to keep them in place.

Anonymous said...

DeSoto County Schools district should be next. They just "lawyered" up with a much larger law firm with connections in Washington. The only reason to do that is because they've been submitting fraudulent data for years now, and Corey Uselton knows what's coming....bring the Audit folks to DeSoto County PLEASE. They're so busy claiming awards for best this and that. The rotten stench of what is actually NOT happening is being swept under the rug by little Corey who inherited the long corrupt mess from "Uncle Milty" Kuykendall. The whole system is corrupt.....just let the teachers, staff, and auditors spill it all out in order to cleanse the nasty wounds.

Anonymous said...

Maybe JPS can add their spin/blame/damage control to Eric Stringfellow's proposed PR scope. Did his deal ever get approved? If so, that in itself proves the mismanagement of the district.

Waiting for Stokes to use the race card in 3,2,1…

Anonymous said...

While MDE is f__g around putting off the inevitable, the students continue to suffer under the total and complete incompetence of the JPS "kingdom".

I just had a great idea:

Before the next JPS board meeting, somebody leave a banana peel in the room. They'll all flee & abandon their posts. State takeover via default.

It's flawless.

Anonymous said...

It isn't just the schools fault as you can only do so much with kids whose parents don't feed them or care for them properly. So while it isn't all JPS fault they have plenty of responsibility.

Kids that have no education and can't read will be future convicts. It's bad for the kids, the community, property values and law enforcement. Kids who are truly interested in learning and are forced to go to this district should be able to sue the state for providing inadequate education. You shouldn't have to pay school taxes AND pay to send your kids to a private school.

Waiting to hear how the "parent's campaign" spins this into how great a job the teachers and administration are doing.

Anonymous said...

When will people realize that many school districts in Mississippi are not in business to educate your children. They are full blown, for profit, enterprises to benefit administrators, supervisors, political allies and supporters. Pitiful

Anonymous said...

Everyone who works there now, who is worth his/her salt will welcome the state take over. They know raises are coming, it is the only way they will retain and be able to hire quality certified teachers. It doesn't matter if it's charters or not. If they are top heavy on adminstration,cut the fat. At the end of the day you will still need more money to pay Qualified Teachers.

Anonymous said...

"There's a story on the CL right now that reports that MDE chief Carey Wright is the highest paid state ed superintendent in the country. You have got to be shittin' me!!! Can somebody please explain why this is?!?!"
August 31, 2017 at 2:12 PM

Thanks for mentioning that! I looked it up, and see that Wright's salary is $300,000.00. Sounds like a lot, until you consider that Hugh Freeze, the Football Coach at Ole Miss, was making about $4,925,000.00.

Even with her highest-in-the-nation salary, she's not making anywhere NEAR a TENTH what a skinkin' Football coach was making. There's something seriously wrong with our priorities, around here. No wonder we're Last in everything good, and First in everything bad.

Jackson's schools may be exceptionally bad. But part of the problem, STATEWIDE - FROM BOTTOM TO TOP, is a warped sense of what is important.

Spare The Rod.. said...

Say what you will, the situation with JPS is the same as with Canton Separate Municipal. Nobody wants to touch it. Hot potato. In Madison County, the Madison County system would not touch the Canton system with a forty foot pole, much less absorb it. In Jackson, the State Department knows it (nor any other body) is capable of running or retooling that system. JPS has been running on the rims for so many years there is not a tire made that would fit it.

Maybe it's time for the Feds to take over the public schools in Mississ...wait! They did that years ago.

The options are these:

Move out of the JPS District.
Stay in the JPS District.
Enlarge the prison system.
Home School.
Pay for private school.
Piss in the wind and develop Charters.
Contract with Ben Allen to make things better.

Anonymous said...

Say what you will, the situation with JPS is the same as with Canton Separate Municipal. Nobody wants to touch it. Hot potato. In Madison County, the Madison County system would not touch the Canton system with a forty foot pole,

Canton was given the option. Canton wanted THEIR OWN school system, where whitey couldn't tell them what to do.

Who could have seen the way it would play out?

Anonymous said...

The state's attempt to takeover the JPS school district has nothing to do with educating our children. It has all to do with Bryant's allegiance to his campaign funders who are charter school proponents. If JPS becomes a charter district, then Bryant's campaign funders can come in and privatize all aspects of the school district. JPS is the second largest district in the state. If taken over as a charter district, Bryant's business buddies can move in and monopolize all of the district's contracts with little transparency. Follow the money.

Anonymous said...

The Administration of JPS, the Board of Trustees and the Interim Superintendent are all exposed as INCOMPETENT by this full updated report. Its not just past problems from that coward "Dr." Cedrick Gray and those that came before....

Not only can the school system not teach the basics to many of their so-called "scholars," but apparently the Admin still cannot even master some very simple organizing, communicating, and reporting functions that are mandatory under state law/regulation.

When the accrediting agency (MDE) realizes that it is being fed FALSE information upon which it has to rely, there is really only way that I think this can end...

And yes it takes more time than most people would prefer to do anything as an administrative agency. (And MDE is top-heavy and unwieldy which does not help to speed the process)

But seriously, why in the hell are we (the taxpayers) paying $250+ million a year for this pathetic example of ineptitude? It appears that JPS is basically just an excuse to continue the employment of way too many administrative employees that are clearly just collecting paychecks and biding their time. (I acknowledge here that are undoubtedly good people and teachers employed by JPS who wish they could fix that place, but they are simply overwhelmed by the weight of administrative red-tape b.s.)

The fact is that the Administration of JPS claims nearly 1000 employees and many cannot even perform the very minimal job requirements, much less put forth an effort to make a difference. One of the first things in the audit that caught my attention was the admonishment of JPS for setting expectations too low and not requiring students meet minimal standards.

The expectations of the whole organization come from the top and trickle down...

These "administration" folks are not only incompetent, they have basically taken all the recommendations of MDE, OSA, etc., and have thumbed their collective nose at fixing the issues.... See below Example 1 of many:

Standard 30:

The District failed to provide clean and sanitary facilities in a safe and secure environment in 31 elementary schools, seven (7) middles schools and six (6) high schools.

Throughout the duration of the audit, the MDE provided the District with individual facility reports, but since December 2016, only three (3) schools have corrected the documented deficiencies.

Anonymous said...

7:55 - Link please showing that Canton was given an option as to school district. You know that void in development you see when driving south on Highland Colony Parkway? That's when you've entered Hinds County and you're approaching Jackson. And that's where you'll be subject to Jackson law and order.

You see the exact same thing when you head north of Gluckstadt or east of Flora - As soon as you enter the Canton Municipal School District, you see people's assholes tighten up and development is rather tentative.

Anonymous said...

10:29 So we should not try charter schools because they gave money to Bryant? They have helped a lot of kids in a lot of places. What JPS has done for years qualifies as failure. Where is the the plan to fix JPS? Seems to me it would be criminal not to at least try more investment in charter schools. What do we have to lose? Don't say the students. The students are lost now.

Publius said...

I'm so glad people like Spare the Rod and those like him (or her) weren't around in the early 40s. What a wimp. I'm so sick of people talking about how incurable the situation is in Jackson. Maybe it is - but does that give us the right to throw our hands up? You know who has less of a chance of fixing the situation than we do? A thousand 6-12 year old little kids who have no ability to fend for themselves, vote or move. There choice is either rely on us to get something done or fall into an unending cycle of poverty. Quit being such a damn defeatist and step up and do something about it. What is wrong with you people? Charter, vouchers, new superintendent - none of them may work. Agreed. But we are morally obligated to try. When did we stop trying to do what is right and instead do what is easy?

Anonymous said...

Education starts at home! Until these low income families as well as JPS become serious about investing in education, then the TORCH OF WELFARE will continue to be passed down to these children. Throwing money at the symptoms of the problem will not fix or rid the sources of the problem.

Anonymous said...

2:43....Stand up so I can sling you a crying towel and you can catch it. How much is enough? A hundred and more attempts to solve an unsolvable problem is enough. It's all about the 'finger in the dyke' solution. Take that with your moral obligation and get a cup of tepid coffee.

Anonymous said...

JPS is not schools, it is free daycare. The majority of children going to JPS are from homes that do not care about education. They want free food and daycare. For them education is for white people. It is an insult for anyone to suggest they get an education. The government will force companies to hire them or pay them for setting at home. Why should they waste time trying to get an education.
The administration is very happy to see parents who do not care about education. It leaves them free to give jobs to their family and friends who do not have an education.

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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.

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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.

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