For several years now, we have recognized that implementing our policy work is dependent on the quality of the educator in the classroom. Everyone on our staff has been a public school teacher. Those experiences made a deep impression on each of us about what Mississippi can do to better support teachers.

In 2015, we worked with teachers and other instructional staff across district types to provide them professional development on the new Mississippi College and Career Ready Standards.

Through this experience, we learned even more about the lack of training that many educators receive in educator preparation programs (EPPs) and once they begin teaching. These weaknesses exist even in “good” school districts and make implementing the more rigorous standards even more difficult.

Preparation and professional development is just one part of the challenge: Mississippi also struggles with recruitment, retention, support, and evaluation.

Pre-K, too, has its share of teacher pipeline issues that make filling new pre-K classrooms with qualified individuals hard, especially in rural or low-income districts. Mississippi First is ready to take on this dilemma and develop solutions.

Teacher Quality Blog Posts

MSF’s Position on HB 504

March 24, 2014 by MacKenzie Stroh
Mississippi First releases Position Paper on HB 504 JACKSON, MS—On March 24, 2014, Mississippi First released an official position paper on House Bill 504.  The paper provides background on teacher pay in Mississippi, details both the House and Senate plans for teacher pay raises, and...

MSF launches Choose Excellence

November 8, 2013 by MSF Staff
Today, Mississippi First launched Choose Excellence, a campaign dedicated to supporting the Common Core State Standards in Mississippi. Choose Excellence is part of CommonCoreMS, a new Mississippi First initiative which is dedicated to providing resources and information about implementing Common Core State Standards in Mississippi schools....

MSF Weighs in on Graduation Rate Controversy

November 7, 2012 by MSF Staff
Executive Director Rachel Canter has been in a spate of news stories about the State Board of Education’s 2012 decision to remove graduation rates from state accountability rankings this year.

For Ed Wonks: New Study on the Characteristics of High Performing Schools

February 8, 2012 by MSF Staff
One of the most essential questions education research needs to answer is what makes some schools more effective than others, when controlling for student characteristics. Research tells us that inputs like money, class size (for most students), and even teacher credentials (like certification, years of...