State Superintendent Carey Wright (left) and Michael Cormack, chief executive officer at the Barksdale Reading Institute, at an achievement School District task force meeting last fall.

The search for a superintendent to lead the newly created state Achievement School District continues, state Superintendent of Education Carey Wright told Board of Education members Thursday.

After interviewing several candidates, the state education department will re-post the job in hopes of generating more interest.

In October 2017, the Achievement School District Task Force recommended Noxubee County and Humphreys County school districts as candidates, but the education board decided at its December meeting to delay the decision until a superintendent was in place.

The board delayed that decision again on Thursday.

Scheduled to begin operations in the 2018-19 school year, the district would help transform persistently failing schools, according to a state law establishing the district.

There are multiple ways a school district is eligible for placement. Districts are eligible if they receive an F accountability rating for two consecutive years, or twice in three years. Districts with 50 percent or more of its schools rated F or if 50 percent or more of the students in the district attend an F school are also eligible.


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Kayleigh Skinner joined the Mississippi Today team in January 2017 as an education and legislative reporter and advanced to a senior staff member in her four years with the company. Before joining Mississippi Today, Kayleigh worked at The Hechinger Report, Chalkbeat Tennessee, and The Commercial Appeal. She has appeared on MSNBC, NPR, and BBC Newsday Radio to discuss her reporting.

Kate Royals is a Jackson native and returned to Mississippi Today as the lead education reporter after serving in the same capacity from 2016 to 2018. Prior to that, she was a reporter for the Clarion-Ledger covering education and state government. She won awards for her investigative work, including stories about the state’s campaign finance laws and prison system. She was a news producer at MassLive in Springfield, Mass., after graduating from Louisiana State University’s Manship School of Mass Communications with a master’s degree in communications.