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Takeover of Two School Districts Underway

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Takeover of Two School Districts Underway
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Mississippi Elementary School Students
Associated Press

Mississippi's new superintendent for under performing schools is talking with staff and the community about what may lie ahead for districts the state department of education is taking over. MPB's Desare Frazier reports.

Mississippi's Department of Education is taking over Humphreys County and Yazoo City school districts in the Delta. Both districts are rated F and they are the first two placed under the department's new Achievement School District. The new district will have one central team working to improve chronically under performing schools. Jermall Wright is superintendent of the new district. He says he's already begun meeting with schools' staffs.

"We were very clear that for our teachers, our principals and those who work directly with out students each and every day no ones losing jobs," said Wright.

Wright says current school superintendentss can work in another capacity if they chose to stay. Wright is finishing up the school year at Birmingham City Public Schools where he says they've reduce the number of F rated schools from 22 to 5 in one year. While he says he doesn't have a pre-package plan, recruiting and retaining certified teachers tops his agenda.

"You have to have some of your best, strongest teachers in your pre-school, kindergarten, first and second grade. It's about building the right type of foundation for kids early," said Wright.

Yazoo City Ward 1 Alderman Robert Johnson says they do need help.

"It is what it is. I mean you can't get around it. Talking about it ain't going to get anything done. I think we've been talking too long. The program we've been putting in ain't working," said Johnson

Wright is hosting two community meetings this evening in Humphreys County, one in Louise at 5 and in Belzoni at 6:30.