The Better Together commission met for the first time Wednesday to discuss the future of the Jackson Public School District.
During the meeting the 15 member commission heard from JPS Interim superintendent Dr. Freddrick Murray on the current state of the Jackson Public Schools.
Robyn Rosenthall a communications manager with the W.K. Kellogg foundation was also present at the meeting to show their support for helping the commission with their endeavor to improve JPS.
Dr. Ivye L. Allen, President of the Foundation for the Mid South and Charles McClelland, former chairman of the Mississippi Board of Education were chosen as co-chairmen for the commission.
“Everybody was a little tight, including myself, and I would say that everyone sitting around that table was a little tight,and I expect it to loosen up and for there to be more dialog at the next meeting” said McClelland. “We are trying to feel our way. We gathered information today just like the people that were sitting in the audience and we are going to have to come up with the committees and try to come up with some solution based on what Kellogg, the Governor’s office and the Mayor’s office are expecting for the commission to accomplish.”
While no deadline was given, McClelland added that it will be a process to get JPS back on track and that it will not be something that happens overnight.
“We’ve got to get it right,” said McClelland. “This is not a process that we can mess up on. We have to get this one right. If we fall on our face on this one then there is no need to ever come back to the Governor saying that we need a third option if the state so chooses to take over. I think this is a great opportunity if we could come up with a model for not only the Jackson Public Schools but for the rest of the schools in the state. But, it’s not going to be a quick turn around. I think that we are looking at a year or two down the road before I think we will be able to see some results.”
He added that he felt things would be in place within the next few months.