Projects 2017 – 2018

Mississippi Educator Quality

The Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) is assisting the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) with finalizing the Assessment of Teacher Impact on Student Learning (ATISL) component of the Mississippi Professional Growth System (MPGS) and with co-facilitating conversations with institutions of higher learning (IHLs) to connect educator preparatory programs with the MPGS. The SECC also is supporting this work via thought partnering with MDE’s newly formed Office of Teaching and Leading (OTL) Solutions group, which includes representation from IHLs, to obtain feedback on key OTL initiatives from Mississippi’s stakeholders.

Technical Assistance Approach
  • Technical Assistance in Development and Implementation of ATISL Component of MPGS, Co-Facilitation of Stakeholder Meetings, Review and Feedback on EL Guidelines and Instructional Companion Document
  • Identification of Evidence-Based Resources for EL Students (in rural and low-incidence settings) and for EL Newcomer Secondary Students (with interrupted schooling in low-incidence high school settings)
Impact
  • Improved organizational structures and processes
  • Improved intra- and inter-organizational relationships
Project State(s)

Project Updates

Most Recent Update: 2018 | September

The Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) distributed a copy of the Year 7 Work Plan to the chief academic officer and key staff at the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE). As a follow-up to the work plan’s release, SECC staff scheduled and met with staff from the Office of Elementary Education and Reading to review and operationalize the strand of work focused on resources and support for English learners.

During October, SECC staff plan to meet with key staff from the Office of Teaching and Leading and Federal Programs at MDE, who are involved in the development of the Mississippi Professional Growth System (PGS). The MDE staff will also review and comment on how to operationalize the strand of work focused on enhancing the PGS.

 

Previous Updates:

The Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) distributed a copy of the Year 7 Work Plan to the chief academic officer and key staff at the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE). As a follow-up to the work plan’s release, SECC staff scheduled and met with staff from the Office of Elementary Education and Reading to review and operationalize the strand of work focused on resources and support for English learners.

During October, SECC staff plan to meet with key staff from the Office of Teaching and Leading and Federal Programs at MDE, who are involved in the development of the Mississippi Professional Growth System (PGS). The MDE staff will also review and comment on how to operationalize the strand of work focused on enhancing the PGS.

As planned, in August, Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) staff meet with bureau directors and key staff from multiple offices within the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE), including the Office of Teaching and Leading (OTL), the Office of Elementary Education and Reading, and the Office of Intervention Services (OIS). During the meeting, SECC and MDE staff reviewed Year 6 plans and progress and identified the state’s priorities, potential plans, and activities for Year 7. In September, SECC will distribute a copy of the Year 7 Work Plan to the chief academic officer for MDE.

Intervention Services, an office within the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) Office of Elementary Education and Reading, held a daylong convening. The English Learner (EL) Teacher Symposium: Teaching and Engaging ELs was held in Jackson. This event is an extension of the EL resources and support SECC provided throughout the year and is related to the department’s efforts to develop diverse-learner ready teachers. The symposium addressed culturally responsive teaching practices, from kindergarten to Grade 12. The EL intervention support specialist (preK–12) requested a keynote speaker and panelist for the event. SECC identified a fellow colleague to serve in the dual role. SECC’s involvement in the convening extends to include technical assistance (e.g., evidence-based supports and strategies) delivered to the Office of Intervention Services (OIS) as well as the local education agencies (LEAs) seeking similar guidance on EL students.         

In August, SECC will meet with the Office of Teaching and Leading and the OIS to review Year 6 work and identify potential plans and activities in Year 7.

In Year 6, the OIS revised its EL guidelines, expanded its tools and supports, and developed an EL symposium. Anecdotal evidence suggests that OIS has received great interest and response from LEAs and schools. As a result, OIS will host more events to increase its reach to various areas within the state.

Since the bureau director working on the student growth measure referred to as Assessing Teacher Impact on Student Learning (ATISL) is no longer with the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE), work has come to a halt as the department searches for a new bureau director to take over the work. In late June, MDE and SECC held its quarterly meeting, and during an update on ATISL, a member from the Office of Teaching and Leading (OTL), which is developing ATISL, reported that their staff would appreciate SECC support as OTL’s Educator Effectiveness Advisory Council (EEAC) is revisiting both the state’s professional growth system and ATISL. SECC will re-engage the OTL executive director and bureau director in identifying what support is needed for the EEAC meeting. We anticipate that there is interest around the options (i.e., student learning objectives, value-added modeling) available for student growth measures.        

In July, SECC will meet with the OTL executive director and bureau director to confirm what support is needed.

In April, SECC met virtually with the executive director for the Office of Teaching and Leading (OTL) at the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) and supporting staff to determine next steps for the Mississippi Educator Quality Project. The executive director reported that two positions (i.e., bureau directors) were posted, with one position tasked with moving the work forward on Assessing Teacher Impact on Student Learning (ATISL). The executive director anticipated that the position would be filled summer 2018 and intimated that the work would be halted as a result. However, OTL staff have sought out guidance that may move the work forward without a bureau director in place. SECC will meet with OTL again in May. Additionally, in March, SECC staff made attempts to contact the Office of Federal Programs (OFP) to discuss a Fast Response on evidence-based resources for English learners in rural and low-incidence settings. Our contact in the office has not responded to our request for a meeting; therefore, work has been placed on hold.  

In June, SECC staff will meet with staff from OTL to determine what milestones will proceed while the office searchers for a bureau director to lead the work. Additionally, the SECC Mississippi state liaison has scheduled a meeting in May with the chief academic officer at MDE to discuss outstanding requests made by offices under the Office of Academic Education.

In April, SECC staff met virtually with the executive director for the Office of Teaching and Leading (OTL) at the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) and supporting staff to determine next steps for the Mississippi Educator Quality Project. The executive director reported that two positions (i.e., bureau directors) were posted, with one position tasked with moving the work forward on Assessing Teacher Impact on Student Learning (ATISL). The executive director anticipated that the position would be filled in summer 2018 and intimated that the work would be halted as a result. However, OTL staff have sought out guidance that may move the work forward without a bureau director in place.

SECC staff completed the fast response technical assistance request entitled Resources for Supporting English Learners (ELs) in Rural and Low-Incidence Settings and emailed it to the Title III director at the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE). Although there are scant resources available in this area of concern, SECC collected five salient ones to include in its report. The resource document developed by SECC provides a synopsis of these five reports and how they might support the state’s efforts in this challenging area. The five reports were included as PDFs in the email to MDE.

In April, SECC will set up a meeting to amend the timeline for Milestone 1, establishing an implementation team for Assessing Teaching Impact on Student Learning (ATISL). Additionally, SECC will work with the MDE Office of Teaching and Leading to identify when technical assistance on student outcome literacy will be presented to the ATISL implementation team.

SECC staff, with the support of the Center for English Language Learners (ELLs) at American Institutes for Research (AIR), completed the review of the state EL Guidelines and instructional Companion Document. SECC returned the guidelines with track changes embedded within the document and offered to schedule a virtual meeting to discuss any questions and to offer onsite support with development of the companion document. In March, SECC and the Center for ELLs will schedule a virtual and possible onsite meeting to support the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) with development of the companion document and related support.

SECC staff met with the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) bureau director to discuss potential individuals, agencies, and organizations to include on the Assessing Teacher Impact on Student Learning (ATISL) implementation team. SECC staff provided a resource from the National Implementation Research Network (NIRN) on implementation teams to support the bureau director’s identification of appropriate implementation team members. Additionally, based on feedback received from the bureau director, SECC staff made revisions to the ATISL theory of action codeveloped in Year 5. In February, SECC staff will meet with the MDE bureau director to further support the identification of appropriate team members for the implementation team so that the work can move forward as part of the work of the Office of Teaching and Learning (OTL) Solutions Group. As evidence of impact, the MDE bureau director is prepared to select implementation team members in order to continue the ATISL work and has agreed to the revised timeline as responsive and feasible.

SECC staff met virtually with the Office of Elementary Education and Reading at the Mississippi Department Education (MDE) to discuss MDE’s approach to supporting culturally and linguistically diverse learners. As a result of the meeting, opportunities emerged regarding the department’s interest in resources for English learners (ELs). The timeline for this work has yet to be finalized and may not occur with the current project year. Additionally, the Office of Federal Programs requested support on resources for evidence-based resources for EL students in rural and low-incidence settings. SECC invited the office to review the latest infographics from the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Southeast. Topics included ELs and rural education. Further, SECC staff revised the annual management plan (AMP). In previous months, SECC staff held virtual meetings with the MDE bureau director for the Office of Educator Effectiveness to discuss the timeline for the project’s milestones.
With feedback from the U.S. Department of Education concerning the project’s purpose, expected outcomes, and milestones, SECC staff revised the AMP, and presented the proposed changes to the bureau director for feedback. During the meeting, the bureau director reviewed the changes, provided feedback, and agreed with the suggested revisions for the project’s milestones. In January 2018, SECC staff will continue to provide evidence-based resources for EL students in rural and low-incidence settings to the Office of Federal Programs. Additionally, SECC staff will meet with the MDE bureau director to discuss potential individuals, agencies, and organizations to include on the Assessing Teacher Impact on Student Learning (ATISL) implementation team. Further, based on feedback received from the bureau director, SECC staff will make revisions to the ATISL theory of action codeveloped in Year 5. As evidence of impact, the ATISL timeline has been adjusted so ATISL may be included in the work of the Office of Teaching and Learning (OTL) Solutions Group, in furtherance of the broader goal of ensuring alignment and coherence.

SECC met with the Mississippi Department of Education’s (MDE) bureau director for the Office of Educator Effectiveness regarding the plan for continuing the work of the steering committee that will inform the plan for ATISL. SECC shared with MDE the timeline/theory of action developed by SECC with MDE in Year 5 as well as a draft email requesting steering committee members to provide examples of ATISL. Additionally, a staff member shared two resources with MDE’s director of Special Populations. The first resource was about secondary level students with interrupted formal education (SIFE), and the second was about an upcoming webinar titled “Dual Language Learners in Early Childhood,” hosted by the National Center for Systemic Improvement. The webinar is scheduled for December 12, 2017, 3–4 p.m. EST. The team will reconvene in December to finalize the timeline for steering committee activities and to finalize communication with the steering committee regarding examples.

In Year 5, the Office of Teaching and Leading (OTL) requested support with the development of the Assessment of Teacher Impact on Student Learning (ATISL), a component of the Mississippi Professional Growth System. SECC is providing ongoing support for ATISL in Year 6. As a follow-up to Year 5 activities for the project, OTL planned on hosting an ATISL steering committee meeting in October, with meeting facilitation provided by SECC. Due to competing priorities for OTL, the steering committee meeting was postponed. In November, OTL and SECC will meet virtually to discuss the Year 6 project plan, discuss feasible timelines for upcoming milestones, and confirm OTL and SECC expectations.