Leaders at 7 Mississippi schools on leave amid testing irregularities probe

Published 2:57 pm Friday, August 18, 2023

Leaders at seven Jackson public schools have been placed on paid leave amid an investigation of testing irregularities in the district.

Superintendent Errick L. Greene said Thursday that the Mississippi Department of Education notified him of alleged testing abnormalities on Monday, news outlets reported.

“Upon learning of testing irregularities associated with the 2022/2023 Mississippi Academic Assessment Program, the Jackson Public Schools administration acted swiftly to launch a comprehensive investigation,” said Board of Trustees President Dr. Ed Sivak in a statement. “The Board of Trustees was quickly informed of the matter, and is united in its support for Superintendent Dr. Errick L. Greene and has full confidence in the process he has outlined to surface findings in an equitable, transparent, and timely manner.”

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WAPT News in Jackson reports that JPS officials identified the schools in an email on Friday.

Four schools have isolated incidents of test irregularities in a specific grade level, classroom, and/or subject area.

Those schools are:

  • Marshall Elementary
  • Dawson Elementary
  • Wilkins Elementary
  • Lanier High

Three schools were identified as having testing irregularities that inlcudes multiple grade-level and subject areas.

They are:

  • Peeples Middle
  • Lester Elemenary
  • McLeod Elementary

Greene noted that the alleged abnormalities are “isolated to only 7% of our scholars who were assessed on the mass assessment.”
He also noted that the issue is not a districtwide one.

“These are very isolated issues that we’re following in the investigation,” Greene said. “We will follow where it leads us. And we will take the appropriate actions based on the findings from that investigation, including up to and including perhaps some personnel actions against any individuals who might be involved and reporting that information to the Mississippi Department of Education, and specifically the Office of Educator misconduct.”

The internal investigation can last up to 15 days, before the district must submit its findings to the state department.

“This is a serious matter,” Greene said. “And we are acting with expediency and intentionality.”