Project: Year 7 2018–2019

Mississippi Talent Management

To address the needs for talent management, the Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) is providing evidence-based resources and professional learning materials to inform district- and state-developed plans to increase teacher recruitment and retention. For the Talent for Turnaround Leadership Academy (T4TLA), SECC is delivering professional learning on key topics related to recruiting, developing, and maintaining high-quality teachers. The SECC also will be providing meeting facilitation for the development of the state’s mentoring and induction plan and its statewide plan for developing diverse-learner ready teachers.

Technical Assistance Approach

The SECC is providing evidence-based resources and professional learning materials to inform district- and state-developed plans to increase teacher recruitment and retention. For T4TLA, SECC will deliver professional learning on implementation and monitoring for continuous improvement; data and data-based decision-making, mentoring and induction, and culturally responsive teaching and learning practices. Additionally, SECC will provide meeting facilitation for the development of the state’s mentoring and induction plan and its statewide plan for developing diverse-learner ready teachers.

In December 2018, the Mississippi Talent Management work was featured in the Talent for Turnaround newsletter.

Impact
  • Improved organizational structures and processes through aligned state- and district-level plans to address talent management
  • Improved intra- and inter-organizational relationships through improved tools to guide preparation of diverse-learner ready teachers
Project State(s)

Project Updates

Most Recent Update: 2019 | March

In early March, Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) staff met with Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) staff from the Office of Teaching and Leading (OTL) to discuss progress on the Talent for Turnaround Leadership Academy (T4TLA) and the mentoring and induction (M&I) pilot. Based on the issues raised, the content for the March meeting of the T4TLA members was fleshed out, with the inclusion of Jackson Public Schools—the largest school district in the state, as a new addition to T4T. Further, the team discussed ideas for cross-project collaboration regarding the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) ineffective teacher work and the Diverse Learner Ready Teacher initiative (DLRT) convening being planned to take place in late summer or early fall. Also, during mid-March, SECC staff reviewed a draft proposal for a Kellogg Foundations grant and provided feedback and a number of resources for strengthening the proposal. The MS DLRT Stocktake took place on March 14. The DLRT lead, two AIR staff members, and three members from the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) took part in the meeting. The completed rubric indicated Mississippi’s high rate of success with initiative outcomes. A couple of key areas were identified during the stocktake to be addressed during the national DLRT convening in April. On March 20, SECC staff facilitated a day-long T4T convening at the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. One of the T4T districts, Quitman County Public Schools, led a data-use presentation in which they shared the local education agency (LEA) problem, strategy, implementation, and progress. In addition, the team participated in a GIS mapping tutorial and engaged in a work session on recognizing and addressing opportunity gaps. In mid-March, SECC staff shared a number of resources to guide the planning process for the development of the Culturally, Linguistic, Responsive Teaching (CLRT) Council. MDE and the SECC team will participate in the April 2–4 DLRT Convening in Omaha, Nebraska, and April 11 CLRT Council planning meeting.

As evidence of impact, Quitman County Public Schools demonstrated how it guided the progress of the district’s schools with fidelity to data use, strategy development, implementation with fidelity, progress monitoring, and refinement of strategies implemented. Additionally, DLRT stocktake results document evidence of improvements: data-driven decision making; development of, adherence to, and progression following a strong theory of action with appropriate strategies; planning process that anticipates next steps and a focus on sustainability; utilization and/or acquisition of expert personnel needed for successful implementation.

 

Previous Updates:

In early March, Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) staff met with Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) staff from the Office of Teaching and Leading (OTL) to discuss progress on the Talent for Turnaround Leadership Academy (T4TLA) and the mentoring and induction (M&I) pilot. Based on the issues raised, the content for the March meeting of the T4TLA members was fleshed out, with the inclusion of Jackson Public Schools—the largest school district in the state, as a new addition to T4T. Further, the team discussed ideas for cross-project collaboration regarding the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) ineffective teacher work and the Diverse Learner Ready Teacher initiative (DLRT) convening being planned to take place in late summer or early fall. Also, during mid-March, SECC staff reviewed a draft proposal for a Kellogg Foundations grant and provided feedback and a number of resources for strengthening the proposal. The MS DLRT Stocktake took place on March 14. The DLRT lead, two AIR staff members, and three members from the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) took part in the meeting. The completed rubric indicated Mississippi’s high rate of success with initiative outcomes. A couple of key areas were identified during the stocktake to be addressed during the national DLRT convening in April. On March 20, SECC staff facilitated a day-long T4T convening at the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. One of the T4T districts, Quitman County Public Schools, led a data-use presentation in which they shared the local education agency (LEA) problem, strategy, implementation, and progress. In addition, the team participated in a GIS mapping tutorial and engaged in a work session on recognizing and addressing opportunity gaps. In mid-March, SECC staff shared a number of resources to guide the planning process for the development of the Culturally, Linguistic, Responsive Teaching (CLRT) Council. MDE and the SECC team will participate in the April 2–4 DLRT Convening in Omaha, Nebraska, and April 11 CLRT Council planning meeting.

As evidence of impact, Quitman County Public Schools demonstrated how it guided the progress of the district’s schools with fidelity to data use, strategy development, implementation with fidelity, progress monitoring, and refinement of strategies implemented. Additionally, DLRT stocktake results document evidence of improvements: data-driven decision making; development of, adherence to, and progression following a strong theory of action with appropriate strategies; planning process that anticipates next steps and a focus on sustainability; utilization and/or acquisition of expert personnel needed for successful implementation.

In the third week of February, the Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) convened a virtual meeting for Mississippi Talent for Turnaround Leadership Academy (T4TLA) and mentoring & induction (M&I) participants. Participants shared updates regarding their T4T and M&I progress, took part in a critical discussion of a recent article on the teacher shortage in the Mississippi Delta (https://mississippitoday.org/2019/02/18/after-years-of-inaction-delta-teacher-shortage-reaches-crisis-levels/) and took part in a professional development data session/demo of a Center for Great Teachers and Leaders (GTL) Diversifying the Educator Workforce: Data Tool for Practitioners (https://gtlcenter.org/state-collaborations/equitable-access). In early February, SECC staff met with Office of Teachers and Leaders (OTL) staff regarding the status of talent initiatives and next steps for advancing the work. During the meeting, participants planned the agenda for the February T4TLA meeting and forecasted sustainability support needs to be addressed in the March meeting. SECC communicated with the diverse and learner-ready teachers (DLRT) team lead via several email and phone exchanges to provide thought partnering in preparation for the Council of Chief State School Officers’ (CCSSO) February 22 DLRT Mississippi Spotlight webinar, the first in the DLRT Webinar Series. SECC reviewed and provided feedback on the Mississippi Spotlight PowerPoint for the webinar titled, Preparing a Diverse Teacher Workforce for Mississippi: A Multidimensional Approach” (https://ccsso.org/preparing-diverse-teacher-workforce-mississippi-multi-dimensional-approach). SECC also emailed the DLRT project leads the DLRT Stocktake Rubric and additional guidance for completing the rubric prior to the upcoming March DLRT Stocktake. In addition, SECC staff shared resources with the lead in support of design and development work linked to the Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Teacher Council.

A face-to-face meeting of the T4TLA and M&I participants will take place on March 20 at the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. As a part of the sustainability plan, Jackson Public Schools will have a number of individuals to participate in the meeting to learn about Mississippi’s T4T and M&I efforts. Also, the Mississippi DLRT Stocktake with CCSSO is scheduled take place on March 14 at 4 p.m. (CST).

Quitman County, one of the four T4TLA/M&I pilot groups recently presented evidence of their progress with data use for school improvement with their board. The Quitman County team will share their detailed progress on data use for district and school improvement with the other pilot districts (Clarksdale, Greenwood, Yazoo City Public Schools) and Jackson Public Schools at the March meeting. The CCSSO Spotlight of Mississippi DLRT work is a very impressive representation of the extensive work the state is doing to advance  workforce diversification and culturally responsive teaching practices statewide. These efforts include a Rural Grow-Your-Own (GYO) effort, performance-based licensure, teacher residency programming, and the recruitment and hiring of additional staff to support the work.

During January, the Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) had a day-long meeting with Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) staff to flesh out ideas brainstormed during the December Mississippi diverse learner ready teacher (DLRT) team meeting, the Talent for Turnaround/Mentoring & Induction (T4T/M&I) meetings, and to continue the work of coordinating and aligning the work of the Office of Teaching and Learning (OTL) and other MDE offices and divisions. On January 31, SECC met with the MDE project lead heading up the design of the Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Practices (CLRP) council to assist with crafting a plan for the council’s mission, roles, and responsibilities. During the day-long January meeting, SECC did preliminary review of the statewide plan for DLRT and provided feedback to OTL.

In February, a face-to-face meeting of T4T/M&I participants is set to take place in Jackson, Mississippi. In addition, plans are underway to convene a meeting of the various groups housed under the Talent Management project.

To advance the DLRT work, the state education agency (SEA) has plans for developing a CLRP Council to design statewide efforts to ensure the implementation of CLRP statewide. The SEA also plans to host a statewide convening on diversifying the educator workforce in the state of Mississippi. In addition a number of key talent management events have been scheduled, including the February 13 Human Resource Directors and Educator Preparation Programs training, a Special Education Professional Development Session and High-Leverage Practices Taskforce Meeting on March 28 and 29, June 15 statewide workshop on teacher leadership, the annual July 2019 Elevate Teachers Conference, and a series of PRAXIS trainings set to take place at various locations across the state.

During early December, the Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) had a number of planning meetings with staff from the Office of Teaching and Learning (OTL); the first was regarding the state education agency’s (SEA) Grow Your Own (GYO) priority. During the meeting, strategies to be implemented during key events, including a meeting of the Mississippi GYO taskforce and the second major GYO convening set to take place in Indiana during mid-December, were discussed. On December 13 and 14, a team of Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) and SECC staff participated in the GYO convening in Indiana. During the first week of December, SECC also met with the MS Talent for Turnaround Leadership Academy (T4TLA) lead to discuss progress pertinent to the T4T and mentoring and induction (M&I) work underway. One key component of the meeting was the review of evaluations from the first of two MDE December professional development (PD) sessions on classroom management that had been requested during the third national T4TLA convening. Participants were satisfied with the December 1 offerings. Another meeting of the SECC project staff and a staff member from OTL took place in early December and addressed T4T, M&I, and diverse learner ready teacher (DLRT) progress and the coordination of other SECC-MDE projects that involved the coordination of OTL and MDE offices and divisions. Coordination of technical assistance (TA) support linked to English learners (ELs) and office representation on the team were among the concerns noted. The project team clarified the roles team members would play and agreed to adjust the milestones and project team makeup to rectify concerns. Work to adjust the milestones is underway.

Additionally, during mid-December, SECC and the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders (GTL Center) participated in the DLRT National Collaborators meeting. During the meeting, updates were shared and additional information provided to be passed on to the MS DLRT team. On the following day, SECC participated in the MS DLRT team meeting and shared the updates from the national meeting. The new REL Southeast DLRT partner participated in the call and was eager to share her support in her areas of focus—historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and culturally responsive practices (CRP). In addition to receiving and sharing national and local updates, the DLRT team celebrated its $4M+ Kellogg Human Capital Highways Grant award and the number of teacher residents and performance-based fellows the grant would support. The team also brainstormed ideas for continuing implementation of the DLRT statewide plan. Some of the ideas included a statewide convening on diversifying the educator pipeline; the development of a council to design the CRP statewide trainings; and the participation of Gloria Ladson Billings at the July 9, 2019, MS Elevate Teacher Conference. The DLRT lead and SECC staff agreed to schedule a December 19 follow-up meeting to flesh out the brainstormed ideas.

During January, the T4TLA/M&I team will convene face-to-face in the SECC Metairie office. Three purposes to be achieved by this meeting are to see the demonstration of a new data tool developed by GTL, to continue to monitor progress of plans developed during the third national convening, and to assess the status of the M&I pilot. Also, in January, SECC will meet with MDE staff to flesh out ideas brainstormed during the December MS DLRT team meeting and to continue the work of coordinating and aligning the work of OTL and other MDE offices and divisions.

As evidence of impact, the following items represent MDE’s work via DLRT initiative to diversify the educator workforce in the state and to ensure that all teachers become more culturally competent in their efforts to meet the needs of all learners: Proposed Teacher Licensure Pathways Pilot Studies; $4M+ Kellogg grant award and related work undertaken; development of the MS GYO Taskforce, taskforce convenings, and recommendations. Below are items that offer documentation of the strides MDE has made in the areas of talent management and M&I: Outcomes of Mississippi T4TLA/M&I work featured in December 2018 national T4T newsletter; Mississippi T4TLA coordination, development, and facilitation of two December 2018 local PD sessions on classroom management. It should be noted that these PD sessions were requested for new and continuing educators during the third national T4T convening. Notably, MDE has responded promptly to the urgent need identified by the T4TLA districts.

During early November, the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) Talent for Turnaround Leadership Academy (T4TLA) team participated in a pre-conference meeting in preparation for the third national T4TLA convening. Participants shared updates, reviewed self-assessment documents that captured T4T and mentoring and induction (M&I) progress, and noted on the artifacts produced to support T4TLA and M&I efforts. During mid-November, the four T4T districts traveled to Washington, D.C., for the national convening and participated in sustainability planning. One of the MDE team members took part in facilitating a Round Table discussion that highlighted the SEA’s role in differentiating M&I support for pilot districts. In addition, the team heard from a number of experts from the field who guided their thinking and vision setting and theory of action development for the year.

In an effort to leverage resources and to better align efforts across projects and offices, the diverse learner ready teacher (DLRT) team (including representatives from CCSSO, CEEDAR, GTL Center, and REL Southeast), the T4T team, and representatives from a number of state and local education agencies, schools and communities, the SECC invited each of these entities to participate in its 2018 Equity Pre-Summit activities and the Equity Summit–Accountable Leadership: Opportunities for Equitable Systems. The various representatives were given the opportunity to strategize during state team planning and cross-team planning sessions to take stock of their Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan and related needs, consider geographic information systems (GIS) mapping results impacting equity, and discuss and examine a range of equity-related initiatives in which they are participating. These efforts were coordinated to advance educational equity and more equitable systems.

During December, the T4TLA team will meet virtually to do a progress check on the plans developed during the third national convening and to assess the status of the M&I pilot. During January, the team will convene face-to-face in the SECC Metairie office.

The talent management team will meet during the second week of December to review and refine the Year 7 Work Plan to ensure that activities and milestones reflect the integration of efforts across projects and offices.

Some key members of the talent management project team from MDE were unable to attend the Equity Summit and participate in state and cross-state strategy sessions due to conflicting commitments.

In early October, as a part of the Check-in Meeting Series, the Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) Mississippi state liaison arranged two meetings with Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) leadership and staff on the Talent Management project. Present also were MDE leadership representing multiple academic offices, including the Offices of Teaching and Leading (OTL), School Improvement, Federal Programs, and Elementary Education and Reading. The goals of the meetings were to review the Year 7 Work Plan and to confirm the aims, team members, and roles associated with the milestones noted. During the second week of October, SECC staff called a virtual convening of the Talent for Turnaround Leadership Academy (T4TLA) and mentoring & induction (M&I) Affinity group members to debrief experiences with the data use activities they implemented with their districts following the September 6 meeting, to prepare for the upcoming national convening, and to note the status of their progress monitoring processes. At the end of October, the team met with the T4TLA evaluator to revisit goals and strategies previously determined by the team and to discuss the available outcome evidence. From mid-October to late October, the Mississippi diverse learner ready teacher (DLRT) team lead had three meetings with the SECC team: first, to debrief the diversity measures research provided by the SECC/Center on Great Teachers and Leaders (GTL) to guide strategy development for Mississippi educator workforce diversification; next, to discuss the results of data analysis conducted by the MDE DLRT researcher on district- and school-level data; and finally with the full DLRT team to share progress updates relevant to the DLRT action plan, to engage in a Q&A session in response  to a presentation on diversity gap and parity index analyses for districts and schools by the MDE DLRT researcher, and to prepare for the second DLRT National Convening. The MS DLRT team attended the second national convening. The team left the convening having identified next steps and the team members responsible for tasks associated with those steps.

The full Talent Management team will meet during November. The T4TLA team, including the M&I Affinity Group, will participate in the November 15 and 16 third national convening of T4TLA. The team also will meet to continue the coordination of work within the OTL and across MDE offices and divisions.

As evidence of impact, during the month of October, Clarksdale County Public Schools, one of the T4TLA local education agencies (LEAs) requested and received principal training in the area of data use. Additionally, MDE followed the protocol and process modeled by SECC during the September 6 meeting to conduct professional development for Clarksdale County Schools. As a result of research and thought partnering with SECC/GTL, the MDE lead of the DLRT team made use of the Brookings research article provided and took the initiative to engage with the MDE researcher to conduct an internal study of statewide teacher diversity. This content has spurred additional conversations regarding potential approaches and strategies to be implemented to realize the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) goal of increasing diversity within the MDE educator pipeline.