Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Guess who spent more money, had fewer teachers, and got worse results?

 JJ's comparison of the Jackson and Desoto County school districts has received no small amount of attention over the last two weeks.  The numbers don't lie as JPS was repeatedly found wanting when compared to Desoto County public schools.  The Mississippi Department of Education drilled deep and made the same findings back in 2011 yet the study fell into a black hole.  Keep reading, this is good information that needs to be a part of the public debate. 

A state representative asked MDE to compare the two school districts since they were of a similar size but Desoto had a B rating (High-performing) while Jackson had a D rating (Academic Watch).  MDE drilled deep and found some rather interesting differences:

*JPS had 21 more schools than Desoto.
*JPS spent $58 million more than Desoto
*JPS spent $2,100 more per student
*The average salary per teacher was $2,500 more in JPS
*Desoto had three more pupils per classroom
*JPS was 98% black, Desoto was 62% white.
*JPS had 1,281 teachers  while Desoto had 1,759 teachers.  Thus Desoto had nearly 500 more teachers than JPS despite JPS spending nearly $60 million per year.
*42% of JPS teachers graduated from JSU. 7% graduated from USM, 6.5% from Alcorn State.
*28% of Desoto teachers graduated from Ole Miss, 15% from DSU, 12$ from MSU, 12% from University of Memphis.
*JPS had 1,281 teachers who possessed Master's degrees.  Desoto had 701 teachers who earned their Master's degrees.
*53% of JPS teachers got earned their Master's Degrees at JSU while 19% earned them at Mississippi College.
*34% of Desoto teachers earned their Master's degrees at Ole Miss while 16% earned them at Memphis and 13% earned them at DSU. MSU accounted for another 8%. 
*40% of JPS teachers have Master's degrees while 29% of Desoto teachers possess them.
*Leave time.  JPS teachers could qualify for up to two to three times as much leave time as Desoto teachers.
The report said JPS's leave policies were "much more generous than other school districts in the state."


One of the concluding paragraphs told the whole story:

JPSD spends more money per student, has smaller class sizes, has more teachers with Masters Degrees and pays a higher average teacher salary than DCSD. Yet, JPSD students chronically underperform on student achievement tests. Teacher quality is the one of the most significant contributors to student achievement. Given that such a high number of teachers are from one institution it is necessary that JPSD perform effective evaluations of teachers each year taking into account student outcomes. These evaluations would enable administrators to make better retention and recruitment decisions.
**The student populations were obtained from the 2011 audits posted on the State Auditor's website.  MDE's website is not working this morning.  JPS had 30,199 students in 2009 while Desoto had 30,411 students.  

Kingfish note:  This report was produced in 2011.  How come no one publicized these results?

Where was the legislative Black Caucus? The same group that is raising hell about a state takeover now. The only thing they care about is getting paychecks for their friends and protecting their turf, children be damned and damned they've been.

Note: The number of schools per district is reversed by mistake on p. 1.  JPS had 59 schools while DCSD had 38 schools.


43 comments:

Anonymous said...

But more money for higher teacher salaries will attract more qualified teachers that will yield better results with students...Yea, SURE it will!

Anonymous said...

WHAT POSSIBLE EXPLANATION OR JUSTIFICATION CAN THE ADVOCATES FOR NOT LETTING THE STATE TAKE OVER THE JACKSON PUBLIC SCHOOLS HAVE WITH THIS INFORMATION STARING THEM IN THE FACE???

PittPanther said...

If JPS slims down, where do you expect people to work? We already have trouble keeping and attracting people to MS. JPS is like the WPA - it keeps people working during the depression!

Kingfish said...

That's their problem. That kind of thinking is what got JPS in trouble in the first place.

Damn, at least they could have had more teachers instead of suits and janitors.

Justice for Tyrion said...

There you go again Kingfish. Just keep beating that same drum until Phil Bryant gives you what you want.

Anonymous said...


Exceptional teachers do not want to be a part of JPS. Exceptional Corporations don't want to bring their employees to Jackson because of the poor education system in Mississippi. Damn, what is there not
to understand---it is what it is and it will NEVER be any better EVER.

Anonymous said...

This is not surprising unfortunately. The administration employment mill also known as JPS will soon be coming to grips I hope.

Justice for Tyrion said...

Mark Twain said it best: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics." Your statistics were compiled by a state agency you yourself have proven to be corrupt. How can we confirm the validity of these numbers Kingfish?

Kingfish said...

Because they match up with the audits provided each year to the State Auditor.

Remember, John Moore and Becky Currie tried to get that power transferred from the State Auditor to MDE earlier this year but failed.

Albert Schweitzer said...


Is it true that the Jackson Public Schools have the highest cost per student in the state?
Higher than St. Andrews, Jackson Academy, or Jackson Prep?

Thanks for keeping this topic alive. It is terrible enough for those of us who pay the taxes for this misadventure, but likely worse for the students.

Kingfish said...

No. I found some districts who had a higher cost several years ago when I researched it. Most of them were in the Delta.

Anonymous said...

It all comes back to accountability. JPS has been like a bank with no alarms or safe. The lack of parental involvement and the lack of concern from the MDE (until things get out of control) have allowed cronyism, favoritism, nepotism, and plain ole greed become the life blood of JPS. There are so many JSU grads because friends, fraternity brothers, relatives, etc. have hired each other without regard to real qualifications and certainly without scrutiny from others who were hired the same way. These people will spend more effort to protect their turf than to improve the education of unruly children. JPS requires a strong disciplinarian at
the top, not only for the wild kids, but for middle management and teachers who know that poor performance is the acceptable standard. There are some good teachers at JPS, really good, but they have no incentive to perform and they will be discouraged by the hiring and promotion of incompetents because they were friends, frat brothers, lovers, or cronies of unaccountable management. A teacher with a high school diploma working his/her ass off to impart real knowledge in a disciplined setting is better than a professor with a doctorate who is afraid of his/her students and has no interest in teaching and is only waiting for retirement.

Kingfish said...

JPS is set up so parent's CAN'T get involved. It is an appointed board. The appointed board appoints the superintendent. The parents are pretty much shut out of the system. Yeah, they can do the PTA thing or join the honky lib parents for public schools, but they still have no voice. Those organizations are controlled by JPS. When did they ever protest something or try to hold JPS accountable for anything?

If you notice, the parents aren't exactly protesting the takeover. Just the one-percenters whose kids are at the special schools.

Anonymous said...


Most of the parents of JPS students don't protest because they don't give a shit. They live for Saturday night and can't pay their rent on Monday. I used to be in the construction business several years ago and would pay my employees on Friday and they wanted to borrow money from me on Monday. I've seen it all---it is all about how your parents raise you. The potential is in everyone, it just has to be coaxed out. I pray that the JPS parents will come together but down deep I know it's impossible---it's a cultural thing.

Anonymous said...

The bullets above lead to another rabbit hole.... education programs at MS Universities? I wish we could get the stats from all D and F districts on where teachers hold their degrees, as well as all A and B districts.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately the public schools on the Gulf Coast,Tupelo, and DeSoto Co. all are very good. The constant of those 3 areas cannot be mentioned - thus schools like JPS will continue to fail.

Anonymous said...


Good question 12:26.

I already know the answer---D & F district teachers hold a degree from predominately Black Colleges and Universities.

Check it out !!!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you @ 11:09, 10/4/17!!!
“A teacher with a high school diploma working his/her ass off to impart real knowledge in a disciplined setting is better than a professor with a doctorate who is afraid of his/her students and has no interest in teaching and is only waiting for retirement.”

One of the most intelligent and TRUEST statements I’ve read here and I make quite often myself regarding education! In this country, we have people certified to the hilt, basically. We push inordinate, insane amounts testing, yet MS can’t seem to dig its way out of education incompetence. Being certified means only that, it means you can and have passed tests. That’s IT! Does not mean you’re capable of teaching or practicing sound, concise and consistent classroom control and management! I see it time and time again at my school! First year teachers, or those who’ve long been jaded by the system, but got about 23 years under their belt, are merely waiting for retirement. You can teach curriculum all day long, but if you don’t have classroom management skills, it goes nowhere. To that affect, parents, raise your kids to be respectful, dutiful, accountable human beings! Many a good teacher have been run off by central office/administrative politics, parents who just aren’t invested in their own children and students who seem to not care or haven’t even been taught to care.

Anonymous said...

Mississippi is last in everything and you're comparing the trash in the middle of the trashcan to the trash slightly above it. LOL

Anonymous said...

This prompted me to do a little self-research. At my child's elementary school in Madison:

Out of 22 teachers, 11 have master's degrees.

10 of the 22 have bachelor's degrees from Mississippi State
3 from Mississippi College
2 from Delta State
1 each from Purdue, Rhodes, Southern Miss, Union, Middle Tennessee, Ole Miss, LSU.

No HBCUs

of the 11 master's degrees
2 from William Carey (WC offers a master's degree program in Madison that many teachers take advantage of)
2 from MSU
1 each from Memphis, Middle Tennessee, Liberty, Southern Miss, NYU, Delta State, Mississippi College

Anonymous said...

Once the state takes over, the same thing will happen that has happened to the Memphis schools. The state will allow for more charter schools, and you will see some of the same corrupt educators running charter schools that you saw within the system.

Anonymous said...

2:41 - I hope that is what will happen, because I don't believe your crap about "corrupt educators" will be running them. I trust that whatever charter schools are created in the state, JPS or elsewhere, the operators will have much better sense than to employ 'corrupt' folks, educators or otherwise, to manage them.

Anonymous said...

1:52 It's interesting research but I did not see a single teacher from Harvard, Yale, or Princeton. If you say, so what? You're right. If teachers are motivated and unafraid and if they have parental involvement they can be successful whether they come from Ole Miss, Harvard, or yes...an HBCU. If your school is doing well, it's probably not because of the teacher's alma mater.

Anonymous said...

As much as I appreciate the theme of the Desoto vs. JPS data, it is rather anecdotal with regard to the question: Does money spent correlate to better educational outcomes. The thing is that a statistical valid study of money and educational outcomes produces a similar example to the anecdote expressed here. I guess I am just bemoaning the fact that people just love something that isn't statistically valid, and really yawn at something that is valid.

Anonymous said...

3:48, nice try, but Harvard does not have an education program for elementary school teachers.

Granted, just as there are some NMSF coming out of Murrah (3 were recently paraded as evidence of the success of all of JPS) that doesn't speak to all of the junior/senior class participants in JPS. I will bet, without knowing anything specific, that there are some really good teachers coming out of Mississippi's HBCUs but the issue is whether most of them fit that description.

In the meantime, find another school to use for your analysis next time; one that actually has an elementary education program.


Anonymous said...

Rosemary Aultman went from Mayor of Clinton to MS Dept of education, what is your problem?

Anonymous said...

3:48, forgive the omission, but Yale nor Princeton offer an education degree for elementary schools - not just Harvard. Sorry for failing to acknowledge those institutions in my original comment.

Anonymous said...

4:07, correct assessment. It is easier to use emotional responses since they require no actual thought processes (non-anecdotal) than to disseminate data presented. Facts sometimes get in the way of a world view for most.

Anonymous said...

1:52 AND 4:10 I stand corrected. My point was only to use those Ivy League schools to add some juice to the point that the success of most schools is determined by factors other than the alma maters of the teachers. Obviously some teachers are much better than others, and some schools have a very impressive track record, but track record or not, put a teacher in an environment of fear and intimidation and they will have problems teaching. Give them little or no parental support and even a genius starts to look ineffective. JPS has developed an environment not very conducive to educational progress and even the best education majors will find it difficult to say the least! That's why so many avoid JPS.

Anonymous said...

Pitty-Pander: Several things wrong with your assessment. First, we are not in a depression. Second, this is not an employment agency (or should not be) and you're just trolling. I'll stop there.

Anonymous said...


So, John Moore (R-Brandon) wanted to allow MDE to do school district audits?

That would be the blind leading the helpless, getting paid by the foolish.

Anonymous said...

I think there is some validity in looking at where teachers of failing districts are getting degrees.

Anonymous said...

Correlation is not causation. DUCK.

Anonymous said...

It will be unfair to say that Harvard does not educate elementary teachers. One of the education legend of Harvard Dr. Chester E. Pierce is my role model on education. This African American professor is so appropriate for today's Mississippi and I always shared his writing with my peers who are interested in Education. He is a pioneer of may things and I will share with my friends on this blog.

1. The first football player below the Mason Dixon Line in a mixed team,
2. First African American Full Professor of Massachusetts General Hospital,
3. A reknowned and respected Psychatrist who was president of American Psychiatry Association
4. Established the concept of Micro-Aggression which is what today's race-dynamics looks like,
5. Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry and Education at Hardvard Medical School and School of Education

More than any of the above, most of his students and friends refer to him as one of the most polite person they have ever met!

He was a full time education professor of education at Harvard and I have realized many of his teachings are very appropriate for today's Mississippi, both in education domain and other domains. Alas, we do not educate our younger generation about these role models.
Here is the Wiki on him.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chester_Middlebrook_Pierce

Anonymous said...

So, you are a white grad in education at the top of your class.
The first thing you do is visit the school.
Do you want to go to a well functioning school building where the PTO holds fund raisers to make sure you have all the tools you need and a comfortable teachers lounge with WIFI , your colleagues will also be top tier students and the security is top notch or to a run down school in a low income area?
Why are there 21 schools in JPD? What is the square footage and do they have enough bathrooms for the number of students. When were they built and why were there so many then? What are the utility costs and durability of building materials? Notice the lighting. Are the teachers still writing on blackboards or do they have new high tech equipment?
How many private schools are there in Desoto that are also competing for teachers?
How many students need transportation to get to school and need food?
Yes, Jackson schools need intervention and the management structure needs overhaul. Yes , some of the schools probably need to be closed but look at the square footage and bathrooms per child.
Go tour the schools , JJ.

Anonymous said...

@7:23 AM which JPS schools have you toured? Name them.

Anonymous said...

It isn't the only problem in JPS, but this sheds light on a problem plaguing our under-performing schools across the state - inferior IHL Departments of Education. If you researched the the alma maters of teachers in the lowest performing schools in our state, a disproportionate number of teachers would have degrees from a few schools. The IHL board continues to ignore and enable the problem.

Anonymous said...

10:02 He didn't seem to help you with English grammar usage.

Messick said...

7:23, the architecture and fit-out of the buildings are the least of one's concerns. Functioning HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems, on the other hand, should be of a concern.

The point is that redundancy in personnel is a drain tax dollars that should be spent on more important items.

Messick said...

10:02,
"Established the concept of Micro-Aggression which is what today's race-dynamics looks like,"

Oooooohhhh!!! This dude is a masterclass race-baiter, victim creator, and Grievance Industry professional.




Anonymous said...

The concern over the particular universities from which JPS teachers matriculate is just another red herring to distract from the root causes of it's failure... i.e. lack of discipline and parental/community involvement in the process. Successful schools have teachers from various educational backgrounds and it does not matter because they are all held to a high standard by the parents and community. Bad schools can bring in PHD's and they will struggle when they encounter unruly kids and unsupportive "parents" and low expectations. Hiring practices vary from community to community based on demographics and other factors but performance is ALWAYS affected by the same community standards. Not just in Mississippi but nationwide. Get the community on track and good teachers will want to teach and bad teachers will be weeded out. You can't do it the other way around because you can't attract great teachers to an out of control community.

Anonymous said...

While kids in other countries learn multiple languages, advanced math and science we struggle to teach our kids English. Good grief. Can our state or federal government get anything right?

Messick said...

While kids in other countries learn multiple languages, advanced math and science we struggle to teach our kids English. Good grief. Can parents get anything right?

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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.

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This is definitely a Beaver production.


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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!!!

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