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.