July 28, 2015
JACKSON, Miss – Clarksdale Municipal School District teacher Frances Smith-Kemp surrendered her teaching license today and agreed to cooperate with the Mississippi Department of Education in its ongoing investigation into testing irregularities in the Clarksdale Municipal School District.
Smith-Kemp was accused of violating state law by knowingly and willfully cheating on state assessments during the 2012-13 school year while a teacher at Heidelberg Elementary School (HES). Smith-Kemp taught at Oakhurst Intermediate School in Clarksdale during the 2013-14 and 2014-15 school years.
Smith-Kemp admitted that she violated the law as set forth in the complaint filed against her. The complaint was the first one filed against an educator in the Clarksdale Municipal School District related to testing irregularities in the district.
“We will not tolerate cheating by educators in Mississippi classrooms,” said Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education. “As this first case demonstrates, there will be serious consequences for educators who are caught cheating.”
The investigation into testing irregularities is ongoing. The MDE anticipates additional complaints to be filed in the near future.
Patrice Guilfoyle, APR
Director of Communications
Jean Cook, APR