The Mississippi Succeeds plan for implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act is a signature work from the tenure of Carey M. Wright, Ed.D., as superintendent of the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE). With literacy at the forefront, Mississippi Succeeds creates high expectations for all educational constituents in the state. The primary long-term goals of Mississippi Succeeds are to (a) attain 70 percent proficiency on reading and math tests for all students and subgroups; (b) achieve a 90 percent graduation rate for all students; and (c) assist 70 percent of English learners in achievement adequate growth in reading. Literacy has been a key vehicle for attaining these goals. With the passage of the Literacy-Based Promotion Act (LBPA) in 2013, long-range proficiency targets were set by projecting the proficiency rates of the first cohort of third graders who were subject to the LBPA.
MDE understands that in order to achieve these and other academic outcomes, every student needs to be taught by teachers equipped to help them achieve the goals. Goal 4 of the Mississippi State Board of Education Strategic Plan for 2018–2022 states that all schools will have effective teachers and leaders. According to the research literature, minority teachers are more likely to teach in schools with large minority student populations and are more likely to leave the profession. Mississippi data show that high poverty and minority students are disproportionately located in the lowest performing schools, which have half as many highly effective and 1.5 times as many ineffective teachers as high-performing schools. Teacher turnover creates a revolving door effect in schools, especially those with the most vulnerable student populations. MDE is committed to improving teacher effectiveness and strengthening recruitment and retention in districts and schools with the least effective and experienced educators.
R7CC's service plan is organized around two high-leverage problems and opportunities:
- Building on the state’s positive trend in literacy achievement through the development of a literacy framework and corresponding guidance documents to facilitate teacher knowledge, skill, and implementation of evidence based literacy practices in Grades 4–8 classroom instruction and intervention; and
- Address gaps in student performance by strengthening the teacher workforce, especially in high need areas serving students from low-income households and students of color, through implementation of the Mississippi Educator and Administrator Professional Growth System with fidelity and strengthening and diversifying the teacher pipeline through state programs including Grow Your Own and the Mississippi Teacher Mentoring and Induction program.