The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) understands the importance and urgency of addressing teacher workforce disparities in the state, especially those in high-need areas where large percentages of students from low-income households and students of color are taught by less effective teachers. MDE is underway with three key initiatives intended to support districts and their stakeholders to improve teacher recruitment, retention, and effectiveness: Grow-Your-Own (GYO) to strengthen and diversify teacher pipeline; Teacher Mentoring and Induction (TMI) to support beginning teachers; and Professional Growth System (PGS) to help all teachers improve. This project will support MDE in developing their capacity to develop and implement plans that will ensure that districts and schools across the state are implementing these initiatives with fidelity to achieve desired outcomes.
Through an improvement science lens, R7CC will provide intensive technical assistance to the MDE’s Office of Teaching and Leading that builds capacity to implement key initiatives for ensuring all schools have effective teachers and leaders. Activities that will be undertaken as part of the project include conducting an evidence-based assessment of capacity and readiness to: (1) support high-need districts, schools, and Institute of Higher Education partners in designing and implementing GYO programs to address teacher shortages; (2) strengthen fidelity of implementation of the TMI program and its adherence to evidence-based practices; and (3) strengthen the PGS implementation with a focus on professional growth.
Short-term outcomes include increasing state education agency (SEA) knowledge about strengths and gaps in the implementation of evidence-based initiatives: GYO, TMI, and PGS. Midterm outcomes include improving SEA capacity to assist LEAs in GYO, TMI, and PGS implementation. Long-term outcomes include improving teacher recruitment and retention in low-income and minority districts and increasing the percentage of teachers rated as effective.