Eighty-two percent of Jackson residents care a great deal about Jackson Public School District (JPS) and teachers were stated to be the number one asset of the district, according to a recent telephone poll.
The poll, commissioned by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) as part of the partnership with the Better Together Commission, surveyed 500 Jackson residents by cell phone and landline in mid-January. LJR Custom Strategies, a New Orleans, La.,-based polling and research firm, conducted the study.
The findings indicate 25 percent of residents said teachers are the greatest strength of the school district and most residents regard teachers as an essential element to the district’s long-term success. Additional findings include:
- 58 percent say educational opportunities are better for some than for others
- Quality of education was ranked the highest concern at 26 percent
- 47 percent say the schools are doing a fair or poor job addressing students’ mental health and 49 percent say the same about implementing fair and effective suspension and expulsion policies
- 81 percent support the commission’s collaborative approach to improve JPS and are willing to give the district a little more time to improve
The poll was commissioned to support the Better Together Commission’s community engagement efforts. The commission was formed by Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba, JPS and WKKF to study the educational system in Jackson and make recommendations that will ensure all students achieve academic success. The commission was formed in October 2017 in an effort to find an alternative, and innovative way to improve JPS; it includes 15 volunteers from various sectors.
In addition to studying the educational landscape, the commission is charged with engaging the community to ensure all pockets of Jackson contribute to the plan for the district.