December 15, 2016
JACKSON, Miss. — The Mississippi State Board of Education (SBE) voted 4-1 today to approve the corrective action plan (CAP) for Jackson Public Schools (JPS), which includes defined timelines for correcting the district’s deficiencies. Board member Johnny Franklin voted against the CAP, citing his concern about the district’s ability to successfully comply with the requirements.
The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) will monitor the district’s progress on implementing the plan, and if the plan is not implemented and completed with fidelity, the district could face additional sanctions, including withdrawal of accreditation and a state takeover of the district. The SBE declined to approve a CAP that JPS submitted in November based on MDE’s recommendation. A revised plan was resubmitted this month.
During the SBE meeting, MDE staff, SBE members and Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education, expressed concerns about the severity of the issues in JPS, which include reporting of accurate data, instructional practices, compliance with graduation requirements and sustaining a safe school climate.
On a conference call Tuesday, Wright spoke with Dr. Freddrick Murray, JPS interim superintendent and the JPS Board chair and vice chair, about findings from a recent MDE visit to a JPS high school.
“I felt it was my duty to inform the interim superintendent and Board chairs about what MDE representatives observed at the high school and to convey my serious concerns about the district’s ability to effectively implement its CAP. Crafting a plan is one thing. Executing a plan is a whole other matter,” Wright said.
Dr. Paula Vanderford, MDE interim chief of research and development, said the MDE will provide continued support and assistance as the district’s administrators, staff and teachers work to correct deficiencies. MDE will provide the SBE with periodic updates on the status of JPS’s progress on the CAP.
“JPS Board members and Dr. Murray have told us they understand the serious nature of this matter and plan to work with MDE to resolve our concerns,” she said
Patrice Guilfoyle, APR
Director of Communications
Jean Cook, APR