Duval Partners for Excellent Education Press Release

At a regular meeting of the board of Duval Partners for Excellent Education (DPEE) on July 11, 2011, the board selected Brenda Priestly Jackson as its Executive Director and National Academic Educational Partners (NAEP) as the firm to assist it with development and execution of a plan to jettison four of the District s under-performing schools; Raines, Ribault and Jackson High Schools, and Northshore K-8, from intervene status and to help set them on a course for sustained academic achievement. Ms Jackson was selected as Executive Director based on her extensive knowledge of the history and contemporary issues related to public education in Duval County, and her immutable passion for the intellectual well being of children. Ms Jackson is a practicing attorney who currently serves as General Counsel for Edward Waters College. She brings to her new position her experience as a member and former chairperson of the Duval County School Board, her involvement as an exofficio member of the board of the Jacksonville Public Education Fund, her firsthand knowledge of the community as a lifelong resident and involved parent, and her longstanding work as an advocate for excellence in public education. While her duties as Executive Director will be broad and all encompassing, she will take immediate responsibility for assisting DPEE with engaging the community, with strengthening the partnership with DCPS, and with finalizing the operating agreements between it and DCPS, and with its academic partner, NAEP. DPEE s academic partner, National Academic Educational Partners, will work initially in an advisory capacity to DPEE and its legal counsel as they work to finalize the operating agreement between DPEE and DCPS, in anticipation of the eventual handoff of the schools to DPEE later this month. Once DPEE assumes responsibility for the schools, NAEP will employ its particular expertise as a specialist in school turnarounds to work collaboratively with the District in the execution of a success plan for the District s four intervene schools. DPEE is a local not-for-profit Education Management Organization selected by DCPS [as an alternative to closing or converting it four intervene schools to charter schools] to direct the effort to lead four of its under-performing schools out of intervene status. Subsequent meetings of DPEE will be open to the public at a place and time to be posted in accordance with the State of Florida s rule for Government in the Sunshine.

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