Project: Year 7 2018–2019

Mississippi Educator Quality

To address the need for increased training and support on culturally and linguistically responsive teaching and learning (CLRTL), the Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) is providing evidence-based resources for Grades preK–12. The SECC also is providing ongoing meeting facilitation to co-develop professional learning modules and provide meeting facilitation on CLRTL practices as well as assisting the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) with identifying indicators of ineffective teachers.

Technical Assistance Approach

To address the need for increased training and support on CLRTL, SECC is presenting evidence-based resources, co-developing professional learning modules, and providing meeting resources on CLRTL practices. In addition, SECC will provide meeting facilitation and thought partnering on MDE's approach to develop an indicator for identifying ineffective teachers.

Impact
  • Improved materials and assets for MDE through increased access to resources supporting CLRTL practices and evidence-based resources for supporting low-performing schools
  • Improved intra- and inter-organizational relationships between MDE and local education agencies to provide resources for culturally responsive teaching and identifying ineffective teachers and related support
Project State(s)

Project Updates

Most Recent Update: 2019 | August

The Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) team planned the final meeting with Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) staff to close out the project as part of sunsetting processes.

In September, SECC staff will meet with MDE staff to close out the project as part of sunsetting processes.

 

Previous Updates:

The Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) team planned the final meeting with Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) staff to close out the project as part of sunsetting processes.

In September, SECC staff will meet with MDE staff to close out the project as part of sunsetting processes.

Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC)  English learner (EL) experts met with the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) EL support staff to review survey data on professional learning needs of Mississippi educators. After reviewing the data, the team concluded there are three major areas where the state needs to focus its professional learning using a multi-tiered system of support (MTSS) framework that provides culturally and linguistically responsive practices (CLRP)—instructional strategies, differentiated instruction, and strategies to address language barriers. During the meeting, MDE was able to prioritize professional learning needs. Additionally, the Title II Coordinator left the department, and the Office of Federal Programs (OFP) is planning to identify an interim staff member to take the lead on Title II until another staff member is hired. Once the OFP has identified an interim staff member, SECC will resume work on the technical assistance request for feedback on the Title II monitoring instrument.

During next month, MDE will develop a professional learning plan based on the needs listed above. MDE staff will create a trainer-of-trainers (TOT) model and establish an EL collaborative. SECC and MDE staff will hold a project close-out meeting in early September to support the state with planning for its next steps for its professional learning initiative as it moves into the new school year.

As evidence of impact, through the EL professional learning needs assessment survey, state staff in the Office of Elementary Education and Reading (OEER) learned that their districts were not able to clearly articulate the type of Language Instruction Education Program (LIEPs) they use to support ELs instructionally. These data indicate the need to collaborate more with the Title III office in the OFP. During the needs assessment meeting, the OEER staff indicated readiness to collaborate with OFP to support implementation of effective LIEPs.

The Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) and Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) team discussed scheduling a meeting in the month of July in Jackson to review survey data and support with planning for professional development on culturally and linguistically responsive teaching (CLRT) practices and English learner (EL) pedagogical support. Additionally, SECC discussed plans for reviewing the Title II monitoring instrument and providing feedback and recommendations to MDE federal programs staff. 

SECC EL experts will meet with MDE staff in July to review survey data and support with planning for professional development on CLRT practices and EL pedagogical support  

As evidence of impact, MDE staff are using needs assessment data to plan for professional learning support. Also, SECC will review the state’s Title II monitoring instrument and provide feedback and recommendations to MDE Title II staff to support the development of next fiscal year’s monitoring instrument. 

Results from the English learner (EL) needs survey include responses from administrators, classroom teachers, and English as a second language (ESL) teachers in 49 districts. The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) left the survey open to collect more responses and contacted local education agencies (LEAs) that had not yet participated in the survey. From these and other extant data, the Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) and MDE team will plan for professional development on culturally and linguistically responsive teaching (CLRT) practices and EL pedagogical support. Additionally, SECC invited MDE staff from the Office of Teaching and Leading (OTL) and Office of Federal Programs (OFP) to join the recurring EL planning conference call so that everyone is abreast of the educator quality work that focuses on CLRT and can leverage MDE resources for greater impact. A meeting is scheduled for early June. SECC will share dates with MDE for an on-site visit in the summer to support the state with systemic professional learning that uses data to target priority needs. Also, SECC will meet with OFP staff in June to provide support with Title II needs.

The Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) shared a teacher professional learning needs survey with the English learner (EL) staff at Mississippi Department of Education (MDE). The state disseminated the survey to its educators and will receive results at the beginning of May. These results will support planning for next steps with developing professional learning on ELs for Mississippi teachers and administrators. SECC shared guidance on EL assessments that have an alternate assessment and are aligned to MDE’s College and Career Readiness Standards or closely aligned to the Common Core standards. SECC also shared information on professional development (PD) supports provided with the EL assessments and related information on resources and tools used with those assessments. In addition, SECC reviewed and provided feedback on MDE slide presentations related to Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requirements for local education agencies (LEAs), and the team provided added resources to augment the slides. Additionally, SECC met virtually with the MDE Office of Teaching and Leading (OTL) staff to discuss needs related to professional growth. As a result, SECC provided several resources on evidence-based feedback for administrators supporting teachers who are rated as ineffective. One of these resources was developed by the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders and included a PowerPoint and worksheets on feedback and coaching. The other resource included handouts, slide presentations, and guidance on preparing educators for evaluation and feedback.

SECC will meet with the EL staff at MDE in early May to discuss professional learning survey results and plan for next steps. Also, SECC will meet with the Office of Federal Programs and OTL staff during its check-in conference calls to discuss feedback on the use of tools it received and to plan next steps.

As evidence of impact, the state is receiving educator feedback as to how staff can best be supported by the state, and it is improving the quality of its technical assistance related to implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

The Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) and Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) project staff from the Office of Federal Programs (OFP) and the Office of Elementary Education and Reading (OEER) met in mid-March to begin discussing the development of professional learning supports related to English learners (ELs). SECC will support the OFP and OEER offices with coordinating and developing its EL support system as it plans for the next school year. Additionally, SECC staff met internally to discuss next steps with providing supports to MDE staff in the Office of Teaching and Leading (OTL) and OFP related to professional growth and Title II. SECC content experts discussed existing resources that could be edited and shared with both offices at MDE that relate to the requested technical assistance. They also discussed the need for combining efforts between both offices since they are related in addressing equity and strengthening cross-office collaboration within the department. SECC reached out to staff from both offices to schedule a meeting in April to begin working on these activities of support. As part of its monthly check in-calls, SECC will meet with OEER and OFP EL/Title III staff in early April to begin planning next steps for developing an EL professional learning system that meets Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requirements. They will schedule an on-site meeting, and SECC will suggest looking at different data sources, including a teacher professional learning needs survey and data the state reports to the U.S. Department of Education along with other salient data. SECC and MDE will meet in April to begin working on these activities of support.

Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) met virtually with members of the Mississippi Department of Education’s (MDE) Office of Federal Programs to discuss English learner (EL) support and next steps for SECC technical assistance (TA). The meeting outcomes included scheduling a cross-office meeting with Office of Federal Programs (OFP) and Office of Elementary Education and Reading (OEER) to discuss plans for developing professional development (PD) modules with state EL staff. SECC met with MDE staff in the OFP to determine next steps for moving forward with TA related to Title II. Outcomes of the meeting included a request for support with a review and feedback of the state’s Title II monitoring instrument. SECC will review the instrument and provide feedback, which will help inform the design of the development of Fiscal Year 2020 Title II monitoring instrument. OFP staff also asked for support with a fast response on incentive pay for teachers and information about evidence-based practices. SECC met virtually with MDE Office of Teaching and Leading (OTL) staff to determine next steps for moving forward with SECC TA. It was determined through the conversation that MDE will need resources and PD for administrators who support teachers rated as ineffective. SECC will invite OTL staff to join OFP meetings as their requests for TA are related.

SECC will meet in early March with OEER and OFP staff to begin planning for support with the development of PD modules. SECC will review the state’s current Title II monitoring instrument and provide feedback, which will help inform the design of the development of the Fiscal Year 2020 Title II monitoring instrument. SECC will compile resources to inform and build the capacity of administrators about best practices for supporting teachers who are rated as ineffective. SECC will begin planning and collaborating with the state for PD on best practices for supporting teachers who are rated as ineffective. SECC will invite OTL staff to join OFP meetings, as their work often overlaps.

A new Title III coordinator was hired recently in OFP, and plans to move forward with developing PD modules are now underway, which will result in anticipated improved materials and resources for supporting culturally and linguistically responsive teaching practices and evidence-based resources for supporting low-performing schools. Conversations will be initiated among MDE offices to streamline efforts and promote cross-office collaboration to improve intra-organizational relationships.

Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) staff led a meeting with the new Title III and Migrant Education Program (MEP) coordinators in Jackson, Mississippi, to provide them with an overview of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) as it pertains to their role as program coordinators. During the consultation, SECC reviewed and discussed key requirements of Title III and Title I Part C with state staff, and they surveyed the coordinators’ needs for follow-up technical assistance (TA). One area of need, related to English learners (ELs) and immigrant students, is to provide educators in Mississippi with strategies for identifying ELs with disabilities and to provide training on effective instruction and programming for districts and schools. In addition, the team identified several next steps for the MEP coordinator (see below in Planned Major Activities), including identifying TA needs. In early January, SECC staff led a continuation of regional EL training in Oxford, Mississippi, for teachers and administrators. The focus of the training was on ELs with special needs.

During February, SECC will follow up with the Office of Federal Programs (OFP) Title III and MEP coordinators to discuss next steps for supporting educators with identifying ELs with disabilities, training on effective instruction, EL exit protocols, former ELs, and long-term ELs. SECC will share these needs with the Office of Elementary Education and Reading to support the state with cross-office collaboration. SECC also will follow up with the MEP coordinator’s next steps, which include studying MEP guidance and law, reaching out to the MEP service center, engaging the service center in conducting a self-assessment, and meeting with the service center to discuss the areas’ MEP requirements.

As evidence of impact, the state is increasing its repository of materials supporting culturally and linguistically responsive teaching practices and resources through its ongoing EL training for schools and districts and for training staff in the OFP at the Mississippi Department of Education.

During the monthly check-in with the department, the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) indicated that it would be getting survey and SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis results back in January 2019 and would need some support with reviewing the findings. The Federal Programs Office requested support with training a newly hired Title III/Migrant Education staff member on Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requirements related to English learners (ELs). Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) staff worked to set up a meeting with the federal programs director to plan for an on-site training in January. Additionally, SECC provided EL training sessions to both classroom and EL teachers at the state EL teacher symposium.

SECC will provide its monthly check-in conference call with MDE in January to act as thought partners with the Office of Elementary Education and Reading (OEER) as it works to support districts serving ELs.  SECC also will lead an ESSA training session for federal programs staff on the topic of EL and migrant students. In addition, SECC will provide another EL training session to both classroom and EL teachers at the state EL teacher symposium in January.

As evidence of impact, the state is increasing its repository of materials supporting culturally and linguistically responsive teaching practices and resources through its ongoing EL training and EL survey evaluation of teacher needs.

In October, staff from the Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) staff shared a Teacher of English Learners (EL) Needs Survey with Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) staff in the Office Elementary Education and Reading (OEER) to review. This month, SECC staff were able to revise the survey to reflect the Mississippi context so that it could be sent out to teachers. In addition, SECC invited MDE EL specialists to participate in a panel discussion at the SECC Equity Summit, which was held in Jackson, Mississippi. The state EL specialists shared their work and how they are meeting the needs of ELs, their teachers, and administrators.

During next month’s check-in call, SECC will determine the status of the survey and whether the state needs support with analysis and planning based on findings.

As a result of SECC support, MDE is providing teachers, through regional training, with resources needed to help educators determine the difference between when English learners struggle with a disability and with language development.

Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) staff arranged meetings with Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) staff to review Year 7 milestones. SECC invited the following offices, Academic Education, Elementary Education and Reading, Federal Programs, Intervention Services, and Teaching and Leading to review and provide feedback on the SECC Year 7 Work Plan document for educator quality (EQ). Additionally, the meetings provided executive directors, bureau directors, and specialists an opportunity to provide MDE updates and operationalize the work plan. Of the two strands of work within EQ, the Office of Intervention Services and SECC operationalized the work plan to strengthen MDE’s approach to culturally and linguistically responsive practices in classrooms, especially in general education classrooms that may lack the resources to support English learners (EL). The second strand of work is focused on the development of an indicator to identify ineffective teachers in the Mississippi Professional Growth System (PGS). The Office of Teaching and Leading has not yet confirmed its need for support and the primary points of contact for the work on the PGS indicator.

The Office of Intervention Services (OIS) has prioritized the need for thought-partnering as it will conduct a needs assessment of districts and schools on resources and support for teaching ELs. SECC staff are combining items from two assessments to produce a single needs assessment that will be administered by OIS this fall.

SECC staff have encouraged OIS to develop an EL framework that grounds its supports to districts and schools. The office is supportive of this idea, which is evidenced by the needs assessment it plans to conduct in collaboration with SECC.