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 working to strengthen their teacher Professional Growth System (PGS) to support districts in helping teachers improve their craft to ensure that all students have effective teachers. This project will build MDE’s capacity to develop and implement plans that will ensure that districts and schools across the state are implementing the PGS with fidelity to achieve desired outcomes.
Through an improvement science lens, the Region 7 Comprehensive Center (R7CC) will provide intensive technical assistance to the MDE’s Office of Teaching and Leading that builds capacity to implement their key initiative for ensuring all schools have effective teachers. Activities undertaken as part of the project include conducting an evidence-based assessment of capacity and readiness to strengthen the PGS implementation with a focus on professional growth. To achieve the intended long-term outcomes of increasing the fidelity and effectiveness of the PGS, R7CC will provide intensive assistance to MDE using Implementation Science research to (1) build best practices in educator evaluation, data systems, training, and coaching; (2) build human, resource, and organizational capacity; (3) build policy and resource capacity by supporting the integration of PGS data use with state data systems; and (4) advise state leadership to identify additional funding streams to support increased capacity for training and improvements, which, in part, supports PGS.
Short-term outcomes include increasing state education agency (SEA) knowledge about strengths and gaps in the implementation of evidence-based initiatives. Midterm outcomes include improving SEA capacity to assist local education agencies in PGS implementation. Long-term outcomes include increasing the percentage of teachers rated as effective.