SOCSD’s Peasant named to Student Testing Task Force

SOCSD Superintendent Eddie Peasant

The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) on Wednesday announced members of the Mississippi Student Testing Task Force that will examine current student testing on the state and local school district levels and to determine best practices for monitoring student progress in meeting grade-level and subject area learning goals.

Among the group was Starkville-Oktibbeha Consolidated School District Superintendent Eddie Peasant.

Peasant told the Starkville Daily News on Wednesday that he hopes to be able to use his experience as a school administrator, school principal and former teacher to add to the conversation about how to better manage the state’s assessment system.

“As far as my personal participation in this group, I’m excited that I have an opportunity to represent our district at the table in this discussion and I think that will be beneficial to me and to our school district to have our perspective shared during this discussion,” Peasant said.

Mississippi high school students, who will be seniors in the fall, also have an opportunity to apply to be a member of the task force.

Four students, one from each congressional district, will be chosen to represent their peers in discussions about how to ensure the state prepares them for college, the work force or the military.

The first monthly meeting of the task force is scheduled for 9 a.m. on Tuesday, June 19 in the fourth floor boardroom of the Central High School Building.

Meetings will be live-streamed and archived. The task force will produce a report on its findings and recommendations by December 2018.

The MDE will be accepting public comment on student testing at the following address: All comments will be posted online each month.

Members of the task force are:

• Dr. Carey Wright, State Superintendent of Education
• Senate Education Chairman Gray Tollison
• House Education Chairman Richard Bennett
• Buddy Bailey, Mississippi State Board of Education
• Sean Suggs, Mississippi State Board of Education
• Kristina Pollard, principal, Earl Travillion Attendance Center, Forest County School District
• Rachel Canter, executive director, Mississippi First
• Dr. Tim Martin, Clinton Public Schools
• Dr. Amy Carter, Meridian Public Schools
• Dr. Eddie Peasant, Starkville-Oktibbeha Consolidated School District
• Dr. Jennifer Wilson, Greenwood Public School District
• Dr. Robyn Killebrew, 2017-18 Milken Educator, principal of Pass Christian High School
• Dr. Howard Savage Jr., 2018 Administrator of the Year, principal of Quitman High School
• Robert Sanders, principal, Mendenhall High School
• Dr. Jessica Broome, 2017 Administrator of the Year, principal of Pearl Junior High School
• Whitney Drewrey, 2018 Teacher of the Year, 3rd – 5th grade special education teacher at Lafayette Upper Elementary School, Lafayette County School District
• Luke Daniels, 2017 Teacher of the Year, 6th grade mathematics teacher at Petal Upper Elementary in the Petal School District
• Lora Rance Evans, 2016 Parent of the Year, Greenwood Public School District
• Kelly Riley, executive director, Mississippi Professional Educators
• Joyce Helmick, president, Mississippi Association of Educators
• Rep. Randy Boyd, R-Mantachie
• Steven Hampton, research and accountability director, Lamar County Schools
• Krystal Cormack, chair, Mississippi Charter School Authorizer Board
• Dr. Jay Smith, retired Long Beach School District superintendent
Ex-officio members

• Dr. Kim Benton, chief academic officer, MDE
• Dr. Paula Vanderford, chief accountability officer, MDE
• Dr. Christy Hovanetz, Foundation for Excellence in Education
• Dr. Chris Domaleski, associate director, Center for Assessment
• Rebecca Staples, Lieutenant Governor’s Office
• T.J. Taylor, Speaker of the House’s Office