From staff reports
Jackson Public School District Superintendent Cedrick Gray turned his resignation at the district’s school Board meeting Nov. 1. His last day on the job will be Nov. 17.
Frederick Murray, chief academic officer for JPS, will serve as interim superintendent until the school Board selects a new leader. Last week, Gray announced his intent to resign from the state’s second-largest school district following JPS receiving an F in the Mississippi Department of Education’s accountability ratings which were results from the Mississippi Assessment Program.
In a statement to the media School Board President Beneta Burt said, “To go from a district with only 3.5 percent of its schools labeled F to 36.2 percent, is indeed significant and a number that is not acceptable. We are still analyzing the data to pinpoint what happened, but we know that 24 percent of our schools increased at least one letter grade from last year. We also know that 40 percent of our schools dropped at least one letter grade.”
Burt also noted there was still reason for optimism in the district. “For example, 27.4 percent of our schools are rated C or above. This is a clear illustration that our students are capable of excelling on the new assessments. We are very proud of those 16 schools. We congratulate Baker Elementary, Davis Magnet IB Elementary, Power APAC Elementary and Bailey APAC Middle School for exemplifying academic excellence as A schools,” Burt said.
“We will build on their success and share their best practices among our schools. The administration is working closely with all of our schools to identify areas that we can improve and implement innovative strategies to increase academic achievement.”
Jackson Mayor Tony Yarber also issued a statement on Gray’s plan to leave the district. “I salute Dr. Cedrick Gray and his family for their commitment to Jackson Public Schools. I bid him Godspeed in endeavors to come. The city of Jackson and its schools will thrive. It’s who we are and who we’ve always been.”