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One Voice canvassing report highlights residents’ calls for quality teachers and strong leadership in Jackson Public Schools

Media Contacts:
Elaina Jackson, Fahrenheit Creative Group, LLC, 601.371.8003, elaina@fcgworks.com
Robyn Rosenthal, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, 269.589.7338, robyn.rosenthal@wkkf.org

JACKSON, Miss. – Today, One Voice released findings from its citywide survey of more than 13,000 Jackson residents conducted last summer to understand the perceptions and beliefs about educational opportunities. This report, which marks an important milestone in the work of the Better Together Commission, which was created by the Office of Governor Phil Bryant, City of Jackson, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and Jackson Public School District (JPS), focused on identifying the assets and opportunities that can be leveraged to ensure every JPS student receives an excellent education.

“This report is extremely important because it gives us greater insight into what Jackson residents think about the education system and where they believe future efforts should be focused,” said Ivye Allen, co-chair of the Better Together Commission. “JPS and its leadership will benefit from valuable information and data as they develop an action plan to move the district forward.”

Many of the findings from the community canvassing were consistent with other research conducted over the past 16 months. Residents indicated the three most pressing issues in JPS are teacher quality, district leadership and test scores, a finding that was consistent among all races and ages surveyed. The report also highlights several opportunities for district growth identified by residents, including increasing access to early childhood education, improving parent engagement and enhancing the overall quality of learning environments throughout the district.

“We recognize that we cannot be successful without the input and support from the community, so we are extremely grateful to have this feedback representing a cross-section of the city of Jackson,” said JPS Superintendent Errick L. Greene.  “Our leadership team has been working diligently to develop an ambitious action plan grounded in what we are hearing and learning from students, parents, faculty, staff and community members. We are eager to share the plan and begin work to implement it with the community in the coming months.”

The canvassing process began in July 2018 and included knocking on household doors and attending community events. Overall, the effort resulted in more than 13,000 conversations with residents, which informed the final report. To complete this large-scale effort, One Voice hired a total of 325 canvassers who collectively earned about $190,000 in wages.

“This was a huge effort that would not have been possible without broad support from the community and our partners,” said Nsombi Lambright, executive director of One Voice. “The Children’s Defense Fund—Southern Regional Office and several other grassroots partners were instrumental in helping gather a range of perspectives from across the community. We’re also extremely thankful for all of the canvassers and the thousands of Jackson residents who participated in the canvassing effort.”

The full report can be downloaded on the JPS and Better Together Commission websites. One Voice will also present these findings at the final public Better Together Commission meeting later this spring. For more information on the canvassing process or other commission-related activities, contact Monique Mosley at monique@formississippi.org.


About the Better Together Commission
The Better Together Commission is at 15-member body of volunteers charged with engaging the community and conducting a study of the educational ecosystem to ensure children’s success in the Jackson Public School District (JPS). Since 2017, the commission has been working with the community to create a plan that ensures the academic success of all JPS students.

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