Wednesday, April 13, 2016

9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Jackson Convention Complex

Jackson, MS

MERC Leadership Academy

Eliminating Low-Performing Schools

A primer for education leaders on how to turnaround chronically low performing schools and sustain the achievement growth once it is achieved; becoming a "B" district when a low accountability ranking is no longer acceptable

Eliminating Low-Performing Schools
Dr. Irving Hamer 
Opening Speaker
Dr. John Q. Porter
Luncheon Keynote Speaker

Keynote Speakers

Dr. John Q. Porter

CIO/Chief of Technology and District Transformation, MDE

In addition to being on the senior management team and developing a strategic plan for the organization, Dr. Porter is responsible for restructuring and providing oversight to the technology department to ensure the implementation of MDE's Goal 5: EVERY COMMUNITY EFFECTIVELY USING A WORLD-CLASS DATA SYSTEM TO IMPROVE STUDENT OUTCOMES. He is the former president of the School Turnaround Company and he has worked with some of the lowest-performing schools across the country, including Washington, D.C.; Chicago; Detroit; Prince George County, Md.; and Cleveland.


He is the former superintendent of Oklahoma School District of 45,000 students and former deputy superintendent of a Maryland School District with 145,000 students, where he was responsible for technology and professional development for 22,000 teachers and administrators and aided in research, testing and evaluation.

Dr. Irving Hamer

P3 Strategies, LLC

Dr. Irving Hamer, a senior executive and academic with leadership experience in the public and private sectors, is the former deputy commissioner of the New York State Education Department in charge of school improvement, a school board member of the New York City Board of Education and a faculty member at Columbia University and Florida International University. 

Dr. Hamer is a turnaround expert with a track record of success in school districts in Irving, N.J., Miami/Dade Fla., and Memphis, Tenn. He also was a senior consultant on the MASS Insight Report, The Turnaround Challenge.


A native of New York City, Hamer holds advanced degrees from Harvard University.

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Cluster 1 - Instructional Focus and Organization 

Mrs. Felicia Thomas

McComb School District

Alignment of Curriculum and Instruction in the PreK-3rd Grade Sequence - A focus on the design and implementation of alligned curriculum and instruction in the early grades

Dr. Stephanie Harper

Reading and Writing Across the Curriculum - A primer on the pedagogy that supports reading and writing across all content areas. 

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Mr. James Bacchus and Mr. Gus Vargas
Identifying and Supporting Students in Need of Targeted Intervention - An introduction to data mining that ensures the urility of targeted intervention

Cluster 2 - Quantum Leap in Achievement

Ms. Tracie Greer

The Do's and Don'ts of Test Preparation - How to use test preparation to improve student performance on high stakes tests

Mr. Stephen Johnson

McComb School District

Using Data to Personalize Studemt Growth and Achievement - The use of longitudinal and real-time data to individualize teaching and learning. 

Dr. Irving Hamer

P3 Strategies, LLC

Placing Emphasis on Student Work - This workhop will explore project-based learning as an offset to high stakes testing

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Cluster 3 - Changing the Context

David Hampton

P3 Strategies, LLC

Transparent Communication and Engagement Strategy - A review of communication tactics that invite and support engaged constituents

Kenya Bradshaw


Collaborative Leadership - Whole school turnaround with district and community support 

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Carina Lindsey and Stephen Brown
College and Career Prep - This session will focus on the nuts and bolts of helping students and their families access post-secondary opportunities.  Details on how students should participate in college and career preparation.  In addition, practioners will learn why it is particularly important for students and schools to participate in college and career preparation as part of an effort to eliminate low-performance.