Thursday, September 14, 2017

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss?

The Mississippi Department of Education will appoint Dr.  Margie Pulley as the interim Superintendent of the Jackson Public Schools District if Govenor Phil Bryant approves the takeover by MDE.  She was the Superintendent of the Greenwood Public Schools District from 2008-2012. 

State Superintendent Dr. Carey Wright & Dr. Margie Pulley
The school ratings for GPS under her tenure were:

2008-2009: At Risk of Failing (F)*
2009-2010: Successful (C)
2010-2011: Successful (C)
2011-2012: Successful (C)
2012-2013: D

NCLB Reports: 
http://mdereports.mdek12.org/data/nclb_rc/2010/District/4220.pdf
http://mdereports.mdek12.org/data/nclb_rc/2011/District/4220.htm
http://mdereports.mdek12.org/data/nclb_rc/2012/District/4220.pdf
http://mdereports.mdek12.org/data/nclb_rc/2013/District/4220.pdf

However, Mississippi Today reported earlier this year that she led a turnaround in the Tunica County School District.  The most recent school rating for that district is a "C."   Ironically, the Greenwood Public Schools District faced its own takeover battle with MDE two years after Dr. Pulley resigned.   Greenwood managed to avoid Jackson's fate.

*MDE changed ratings in the 2012-2013 school year. Star =A, High-Performing = B, Successful = C, Academic Watch = D, Low Performing, At Risk of Failing, Failing = F. 

Kingfish note: Dear MDE: This is one hire you need to get right.  Everyone is going to be watching you and an entire city is going to be waiting to raise hell if you screw it up.  Don't bring in a retread who never had an A or B district. Resumes don't lie.  Bring in someone who ran an A district.  If you want someone to coach like Saban, you hire Saban.  In fact, you have one right smack-dab in the middle of your administration who used to the be Superintendent of Madison County Schools.  Tell him he has a new assignment and put him to work a few blocks away.   If you want a winner, you hire a winner. Period. 







66 comments:

Anonymous said...

An appointment to appease the anti-takeover crowd?

Anonymous said...

Remember you get what you pay for in the state superintendent of education.....

No, never mind, I was thinking about the real world.

Anonymous said...

No, an appointment who can actually turn things around.

Anonymous said...

She's interim meaning she's only there from the time the Gov signs the takeover order until a full time person is hired (which could potentially be her).

Anonymous said...

In MDE's defense, they know how well a white male would be accepted as interim superintendent............not too well! Kingfish, I'm with you all the way on your suggestion, but this is a no-win situation for MDE. My guess is that Dr. Pulley will have basically the same results at JPS that she did at those other districts, and JPS will be only slightly better off after the state takeover. What a shit show........

Anonymous said...

"And the side with the shotgun sings the song"

Anonymous said...

Whatever makes anyone think someone in an A district would want to take over this daunting job?

Going from an F to a C isn't too shabby though I do note the slip at the end.

I wish her luck and enough to support to achieve some improvement. Maybe she can slay enough dragons to attract a " rock star" to the job.

Anonymous said...

From the get-go, no one is going to be very well-accepted there. Might as well be someone who is qualified, let's not act like JPS has any influence over this and factor in race to appease the Jackson Race Zombies.

Anonymous said...

Dorsey's dirty little secret is that he sends his child to a special JPS elementary school that isn't remotely a logistical option to 99% of other JPS parents. Then, along with Jackson's other white liberal elites from LeFleur East, Fondren and Belhaven, who send their children to McWillie (but ABANDON JPS when 7th grade rolls around), Dorsey crows in earshot of the TV cameras about how his child attends one of the top elementary schools in all of Mississippi. Face it, McWillie is effectively the quasi private school inside of JPS for Jackson's whites but Dorsey and Susan will never admit to that truth. What the water carrying news media won't ask Dorsey, and they should, is why doesn't his child attend one of the two neighborhood JPS schools both barely a mile from his house?

Anonymous said...

What happens if they bring in your white male and he doesn't improve things? Or they get worse. Then you have a real shit show. This way, if she fails you can ratchet up the pressure and replace her with him. If she succeeds, you take the credit and move on. It's the best strategy. The best either can be expected to do is take an F district to a D anyway.

Anonymous said...

For comparison purposes, someone please publish the comparable test scores for MRA, Jxn Prep, Jxn academy, etc.

Anonymous said...

She has probably done a great job. Everybody doesn't get the Alabama or Notre Dame job. Put her in Madison and they will still be an A district. Put your great white hope in Greenwood or Canton and he'll be lucky to tread water just like her. Sometimes just having more wins than losses is a great record. Let's hope she can improve the situation at JPS.

Cold Hard Truth! said...

Did someone say this is a win-win. Did someone else say appointing Mike Kent, a white male with superior results everywhere he's been, would never be acceptable. Then what the hell is the use in trying? It's time to tackle this six headed monster head on. To hell with who doesn't like it. Do the right damned thing.

Or they could have gotten the failed Superintendent from Canton. SDE recommended him three years ago to Kosciusko and they hired him as interim and he did exactly nothing, zip, nada...just what he had done in Canton.

Blacks, in fact, 'size up' and 'evaluate' black bosses, managers, supervisors more quickly and with tighter discrimination than they do white bosses, managers, supervisors. It will range from 'how dark is she' to who are her people to which politicos in Leflore liked her and which did not to which AME church did she attend to whether or not she is a member of A.K.A. to what do her Sunday hats look like. These are facts, my brother.

Every black teacher, principal and others employed at JPS and the entire black political powerhouse in the Metro are already spending full time 'getting the inside scoop' on this woman and they won't stop until they think they have her in their pocket, which could be quickly or slowly. That would not happen with somebody like Mike Kent. Of course he wouldn't take this assignment anyway.

Anonymous said...

We may be mis-understanding the end-game. The goal is NOT to 'turn things around' and the goal is NOT to provide a better learning environment for the scholars. The goal is to get this monster off the backs of MDE. And the way to do that is to get it up just barely out of the 'D' range. WHEW!

Anonymous said...

I hope you're not suggesting doing anything that horrible to Mike Kent.

Doc Watson said...

If Lumumba or Stokes were torn up in a bad wreck, wonder if they'd run off the white doctors and demand that only black doctors come and try to keep them alive.

Same thing with JPS.

Kingfish said...

I used Kent as an example because he works at MDE right now. However, the main point was to bring in someone who has experience running an A district.

Bring in the best person you can find. period. A segment of the home crowd will not like whoever is appointed BUT success tends to settle things down. Governor made that mistake in Flint. He appointed someone he thought would be palatable to the home crowd and we see how that turned out. They didn't care about those things in Detroit when an appointment was made and well, Detroit hasn't had the same problems during the recovery.

Anonymous said...

MRA 26, JA 28, Prep 28, St. Andrews 31

bill said...

I served under John Stanford when I was in the Army, and he eventually retired as a three star general. After a stop as an administrator in Atlanta, he was a totally out of the box hire that took over the Seattle school system. He brought them around, and there's no telling what he might have accomplished had he been able to dodge the leukemia bullet that took his live far too soon.

That's what Jackson needs - leadership, regardless of scholastic background. The education establishment is more closed to outsiders than the Aryan Brotherhood, so it's difficult for a non-educator to get a job running a school, much less a district. However, retired military officers, especially generals, are well suited to do lots of things beside lead soldiers into battle. To be fair, the leading soldiers into battle experience might actually be pretty good for this job.

The point is that Jackson - or the state - shouldn't expect dramatically different results if they're going to continue to use the same recipe.

Anonymous said...

Is Dr. Pulley the go to person whenever a school district is taken over? I ask due to her being appointed to both the Oktibbeha & Tunica Schools within the last 5 years. Not sure where else she was appointed. Is there a pool of go to superintendents?

Anonymous said...

Bet the military man Lumumba appointed to the Airport Board could get the damn buses running on time.

Kingfish said...

Yup. That's what happens when you hire strong resumes, you can predict what will probably happen and know there is a something really wrong if it doesn't work out.

Anonymous said...

What is the use of the state taking over if they are going to appoint those who cannot do the job?
If the state wants to take over and really cares about educating the kids they would appoint someone with success at what they have done in the past.
Politicians worried about getting elected or re-elected will keep JPS right where they are now. The citizens of Jackson will do everything possible to keep JPS right where it is now. Everyone should be happy. They have all forgotten about the kids, which were never a priority in the first place.

Anonymous said...

“The state of Mississippi has never cared about black children in Jackson.
What we are seeing is a recolonization of the city by the state."


--JPS board member Jed Oppenheim

That from someone who moved to Jackson in 2008 to work for Obama's campaign and spent years once he got here working for the SPLC Mississippi outpost.

It is all about sowing racial discord. No doubt that sort of rhetoric runs a thrill up BabyChok's leg though there is zero factual accuracy behind the recolonization claim.

Kingfish said...

He has been actually one of the more responsible board members and voted against quite a bit of the foolishness. Remember that half a mill for a budget Gray was going to pay Malachi? Thank Mr. O for stopping it. He held firm on getting rid of Dr. Gray. I wasn't thrilled with his appointment for the reasons you stated but frankly he has not been a bad school board member at all. I'm willing to give him some slack on lashing out yesterday.

Anonymous said...

That is not a responsible statement Kingfish regardless of his frustration level.

Anonymous said...

But Mr. O's statement yesterday is total race baiting. He might be one of the more responsible JPS board members, but that statement is total bullshit. The 'state' cares about all children, regardless of location or color. In order to be taken serious, his statement should have been worded another way without the racial overtones. He took those words right out of the Obama and BabyChok 'community organizer' playbook.

Anonymous said...

Ummm....

Raise your hand if you care about the black children in Jackson please

Other than paying your property taxes (if in hinds county) what have you done to demonstrate any such care?

Truth is....he's right.

Anonymous said...

I was just looking at the Miss State Dept of Education contracts for Conservators and was shocked to see that they are paid $860.00 a day. I'm sure this is a difficult job but $860.00 a day is ridiculous. Also I see that these Conservators usually go from one school to the next and rack up on these exorbitant fees for months, sometimes years. Why does Miss have the highest paid MDE Superintendent of Education in the nation and pay temporary Conservators this amount of money? Somebody please pay attention. We are overpaying for what we are getting without minimal improvements or results. Wake Up People!

Kingfish said...

Oh, noooooooooooooow you are bringing up MDE salaries. let me see, when JJ reported on the no bid contracts and the salaries, did any of you wailing now say anything then? Nope. Sounded like crickets to me .

Keep in mind that at JPS the Superintendent oversees a $200-300 million budget. Of course you can get someone good to manage that for $65,000 per year. I don't mind paying nice salaries - if the resume and record justify it.

Anonymous said...

KF, I like the way you worded your opinion. If that doesn't speak the truth to MDE, then they need to re evaluate their situation. They picked mediocre and that's what they will get. Maybe they are trying to do one of two things:

1. Take baby steps because if they bring in an interim with an "A" resume then they might realize the kids are so far behind they won't succeed at all.

2. They may be setting JPS up for failure.....

Anonymous said...

Sorry Kingfish. If you hire Nick Saben to coach at Mississippi Valley State (and pay his assistants the same they are paid now at Valley) your still not going to win 10 games there.

Anonymous said...

Bennie Thompson and Derrick Johnson attempted to robb JPS contracts like they tobb the airport, has failed...

Other new Hinds County board of supervisors just voted to raise taxes..

Anonymous said...

Lot of truth in the above statements about this being a closed network, not considering those outside the education circle. And the reason for that is this: The only interim superintendents ever hired in this state are hired primarily (I said primarily) for one reason and one reason alone: Are you thoroughly familiar with and can you help the staff effectively negotiate all the State Department requirements, obstacles, reviews and unexpected hurdles? If the answer is yes, demonstrated with mediocre comments, you resume moves up ten spots.

And what does that tell us about how F'd up our education bureaucracy is in this state from the get go?

I'm No Genius, But... said...

"She's interim meaning she's only there from the time the Gov signs the takeover order until a full time person is hired (which could potentially be her)."

Think about what you just said. Who in Hell (that's worth having) do you think would be available to walk into a system this large that's under state take-over?

Anonymous said...

"MRA 26, JA 28, Prep 28, St. Andrews 31"

This can't be true because I've seen lots of people on here tell us how much better MC is than the Jackson private schools. MC is a top 3 public school in the State and does great things, but it looks like the numbers speak for themselves.

Anonymous said...

It's mindset, people! Throwing money at this problem will not change it. At the end of the day you will still have the same result.

Anonymous said...

11:37....Amen

Anonymous said...

The funny part about these comments is that MDE and Dr. Wright could care in the least about the approval of JPS students, parents and communities. Apparently, some of you weren't at the table as it relates to the end game. Maybe, you didn't come from old money and weren't part of the flight. Pulley is a distraction with no ties to the community and no interest in assimilating. The true person will be revealed at a later date. It's also funny that again you're so interested along with MDE with educating these children that you would find it an insult for Kent to work in a (F) district. Any idiot can maintain high ratings but it would take a real leader to move a failing district to a successful district during the five year minimum window. So, are you wanting what's best for the students or another blow to Jackson?

Anonymous said...

KF - you are great at dishing out great advice, but unrealistic in how to accomplish it. Have proven that again with your "note to MDE". Where in the hell do you suggest MDE can find someone - for a temporary job term - who has produced an "A" district? Those folks have fine, high paying jobs already, and don't want the 'takeover' salvage job. You make a nice reference to Sabin - I notice your vaunted Tigers didn't hire Sabin, or anyone like him, to replace Miles. They got a retread that didn't have a "C" on his record; but was willing to take the trash that Miles left him (as long as he could also get a lifetime supply of corndogs, I'm sure.)

Turnaround specialists are not the same as the superintendents that take an "A" school and maintain it while gradually improving parts to A+. They are not in the market of trying to fight the battles that confront JPS.

In the LSU case, they at least could have paid the cost of finding an "A" coach; because you would be measuring a few million more than they had to pay EdO. But there, money wasn't an issue. MDE doesn't have the unlimited LSU alumni dollars though, making it even more difficult.

This hire looks like a good choice - has had success in Greenwood, albeit they started back downhill once she left. But also had success in Tunica. So appears that its a good choice to take on this monster.

Besides, the law does not charge MDE to bring JPS up to an "A"; they turn it back over to the city once they reach and keep a "C".

Anonymous said...

Greenwood resident & former GPS employee here. Want to know about Margie Pulley? She is the type of person who quit 2 months into the 2012 school year. She quit in the paper without telling the school board first. She named her 'successor' publicly as if she had a right to make that appointment. When the board didn't go along with her dictate she continued agitating against the individual they did hire. If she follows her usual path, a tribe of her worthless relatives and hangers-on will soon find positions at JPS. Happily, they'll be gone from Leflore Co and Greenwood. She's smart and at one time was a good teacher. But strictly a C administrator if that.

Anonymous said...

KF - you have previously tried to sell that Oppenheim is one of 'the reasonable' members of the board, as you do again here; but your argument has lost all cred after this quote from your guy. I realize he is probably making this statement to play to the crowd that he has aligned himself with since his arrival into town, but this kind of crap from the 'black leadership' in town has done nothing to help the situation with JPS's failure. Folks can agree or disagree without declaring - and repeating - accusations such as this.

The state has been doing what these folks have cried for for years - improve education for 'the children'. Trying to tighten up standards required of the school systems so that the kids have a chance to learn. Now that those requirements have caught the all important, rules should not apply to us like everybody else because we are bigger, more important, blacker, more politically potent, etc. crap - they can't stand it. The light has been brought to bear on JPS's failure, and he has been a part of it; despite your pointing to one or two good votes or actions. He has shown what he really thinks with this statement, and if that is his attitude, he has no place to sit in a reasonable government.

Anonymous said...

Paying the conservator (interim superintendent) is done on a contract basis, which is different than paying a salary; no benefits, pay your own SS, not just the match; no retirement; etc.

Also, you have to pay the location expenses; try to hire someone to go work on a construction job across the state - for a 12 month project. Then move them to another project - 150 miles away, for an 18 month project. In addition to salary, you have to pay moving, or living expenses.

This person, no matter who it is, isn't going to move to Tunica for a three year gig. And then come to Jackson for a five year gig, after having been in Oktibbeha County for a two year period.

This is far different than hiring a state employee, or a city employee, that is assumed will move to Jackson and set up a household. I have no idea if this lady has a family that moves with her, or if she has a home, spouse, and kids somewhere else and she will commute. Whatever - to employ someone on a temporary basis will generally cost more per hour, or annually, than someone into a career job.

(Let's see how many people would have lined up to go live in Tunica MS for two/three years at your suggested $65k per year, and to take on the challenge offered. Takers?)

Anonymous said...

Although I think JPS needs improvement, this was a hit job. And do you know who is great at hit jobs and how to make them happen? B.S., which so happens to more or less own MDE.

So the question remains, not what is in it for B.S., but how much?

Anonymous said...

Kingfish, have you ever taken the school district info on grades and performance and ranked by racial ratio instead of cost per student?

Anonymous said...

I would think the best a competent superintendent could accomplish at JPS would be to efficiently manage the administrative side of things. Me thinks too many cultural issues prevent wholesale academic improvements. I hope JPS succeeds though as I am seeing way too many ex jacksonians in my area. Don't want them to bring their issues here.

Kingfish said...

Weathersby is retired. That will set off some people. hehe.

Anonymous said...

You make sense KF. Bring in a Rolls Royce chauffeur to fix a broken Volkswagen. You certainly want somebody with experience handling fine cars. Get someone who has taken an A district and turned it into an A district. We need that kind of
experience in Jackson. Way to Go!

Anonymous said...

Ummm, has anybody noticed the part of the CL article that says, once a takeover occurs and if JPS loses its accreditation, JPS students can then transfer out to neighboring school districts until JPS regains its accreditation - which will be 2022 at the earliest. So, does that change anybody's mind on whether this is a good thing?

Anonymous said...

I suspect Madison, Ridgeland, Brandon, Pearl, Clinton schools to take a nosedive. All those students that can transfer in will overwhelm the schools and dilute the average test scores.

Anonymous said...

Aside from wondering why even a general or anyone currently in MDE would want this job, I think it's a silly notion that an " outsider" with no expertise in education is needed. Expertise is knowing what a good system looks like and how to spot the problems in a bad system and how children learn.
Besides, there are decades of leadership studies that prove that wildly successful leaders at one job ( like Generals and CEOs) don't have the same results outside their areas of expertise. They have not developed loyalty in the " new" area and can't recognize problems unique to the new system.
You can't lead if no one will follow.

Anonymous said...


Look at JPS as a family business (teacher/admin Jackson citizens, leaders, politicians, civic community) with each part playing a role in running the business. Often when this happens you wind up with to many chiefs and very few indians. This creates chaos and a threat to the success of the business. So the answer will be to hire a "consultant/administrator. There are many reasons for this train of thought, fresh look, new ideas, past experience, etc.

The problem is the JPS family can't get out of the way to let the new person use all those tools. Once the JPS family raises its ugly head with different factions wanting a piece of the success and direction. If that does not fall in place the next step in the process is simply blame the consultant/administrator.

The new full time administrator will most likely have options; find a way to get the job done against the JPS family faction or simply let them have all the credit for success. The other option is take all the blame from the JPS family and move on. Las Vegas odds anyone?

Anonymous said...

1:12 and 3:11, You do realize the schools in Madison, Ridgeland, Brandon, Pearl, and Clinton are not within walking distance of Jackson kid's homes. There may be a few that transfer into other schools but not that many. The parents would have to take the kids to school themselves. Most of the people, notice I didn't say parents, who have kids going to Jackson schools do not care enough to make the effort. If they cared about the kids the state would not have any reason to take over JPS.

Anonymous said...

Expertise is knowing what a good system looks like and how to spot the problems in a bad system and how children learn.

Thanks for condemning anyone currently in a position of authority within JPS and the JPS Board.

Anonymous said...

How do you know that 9:37? The state funding for that student would follow them to the new district, which would include the transportation funds for that student. Do you know for a fact that the new district would not be required to provide bus transportation?

Anonymous said...

9:50 Sorry your feelings were hurt.

Anonymous said...

10:18, the people of Jackson would load up on rocks, bottles, and bricks if a school bus from outside of Jackson picked up kids in the city limits of Jackson.

Anonymous said...

I'm all for the state trying to help struggling school districts but there needs to be a better way to go about it. The record shows these "takeovers" have had a very poor history at actually improving anything. They seem to serve more as a demoralizing punishment to the best and brightest faculty and students without really doing much to correct the areas most in need.

Anonymous said...

Surrounding districts have already begun the process of establishing an argument that their schools are overcrowded. JPS doesn't need the successful districts to take all of the students. JPS needs the successful districts to take Pookie, his mother and all their relatives. I would venture to guess that JPS schools would improve instantly.

Anonymous said...

2:41 -- The reason "that can't be true" is because it's not. Those numbers are made up. A quick google search will show you MC's average ACT is 26, and that JA and JP self-report the same average score. MC is several times larger and has to factor in many dozens of weaker students each year taking the ACT, because it can't screen out people with cost. At the top, MC students are unquestionably stronger. Just look at the "30+ club" photos in their atrium. They're bigger than most high school classes.

Sorry, seg academies. Looks like you'll have to think of a different pretext.

Anonymous said...

Please don't make this thread about ACT scores. Do a search on this blog - that dead horse has been beaten and is now decayed.

Anonymous said...

Leave JPS alone. Nobody really gives a damn about JPS students. Not parents, not administrators, not the State of Miaaiasippi, and certainly not the teachers! This will cost a fortune and in the end will make no discernible difference. This is a waste of money, time and resources that could be put to much better use........such as vocational and technical training. Repeat.....The takeover of JPS is a fail safe mission that cannot succeed and might even make the situation even worse than it is now.

Anonymous said...

It is not true that (even) if JPS students could and would transfer to other districts that the receiving district would have to provide transportation. That's simply one of Dorsey Carson's stupid-assed suggestions intended to incite folks.

If the sperm-donors and baby-mommas wanted their scholars in other districts, they would have gotten up off their asses, become involved and moved out of this shit-hole already.

Anonymous said...

Amen, 12:11. Black, white, or green, if you give a damn about your kids, you've already moved to Clinton, Brandon, Flowood, etc. It's not like apartment rates in metro suburbs are sky high.

Anonymous said...

7:51, and it isn't like the parents? are paying the rent on their own. What difference would it be if the govt. sent the rent checks to another city rather than Jackson?

Anonymous said...

It is unrealistic to assume a Superintendent of a F district can make a district jump to an A. If it does, someone needs to start an investigation into its data forensics. Our educational system is based on building of knowledge, which I suspect has been neglected due to the evidence of graduating students without meeting requirements. How many students over the past 5 years have been pushed through in this system? Are there large number of "students with disabilities" in JPS who have read-aloud accommodations? If so, I bet it may be 2028 before we see any dramatic improvement. If JPS maintained a C for 5 years I would say they are doing good.

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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.

Note: Security provided by INS
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