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In a poor, primarily African-American community like Jennings, Missouri, it was easy to count students and schools out. But Dr. Tiffany Anderson wasn’t going to let that happen.
In 2012, the Jennings School District was one of the lowest performing school districts in the state of Missouri. Eighty-five percent of students lived in poverty. Just fifty-seven percent of students were meeting state standards, and the district was dangerously close to a takeover by the state. To get back on track, the school board hired a new superintendent, Dr. Tiffany Anderson. With her positive attitude and her signature tennis shoes, Anderson launched remarkable initiatives to engage the community while tackling obstacles students face outside of school that affect how they perform in the classroom. Almost immediately, the school system improved. But when protests and riots erupted in the neighboring town of Ferguson after the shooting death of Michael Brown, all the progress Jennings was making seemed to be at risk.
In Don’t Count Me Out, see the story of a remarkable superintendent and a school district that beat the odds.