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Wright begins retooling Education Department

JACKSON — State Superintendent Carey Wright is taking the first steps in an effort to reorganize the Mississippi Department of Education, appointing three top-level executives to report to her.

Kim Benton has been named chief academic officer; Todd Ivey has been named chief operations officer; and Pat Ross has been named chief school improvement officer.

The Legislature granted Wright the power to fire department employees without cause or hearing for two years beginning July 1. Past reports have called on the department to do more to directly assist school districts — an effort the department is pushing forward by hiring contract employees to help train teachers.

Wright says she’s looking at past research on the department’s structure and plans to unveil further plans over the next few months.

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