Squaring the Circle: Learning Loss and Rising District Grades

By Toren Ballard I Director of K-12 Policy This fall, Mississippians received two widely divergent narratives about the state of public education post-COVID: On September 29, the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) released school and district accountability grades for the 2021-2022 school year, showing unprecedented improvement: 87% of districts were rated “C” or higher, up…

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Squaring the Circle: Learning Loss and Rising District Grades

Roadblock to Recovery: Student Absenteeism

Editor’s Note: This blog post is a part of a new ongoing series of posts dedicated to K-12 education policy in Mississippi. *** By Grace Breazeale I K-12 Policy Associate As school districts take steps to recover from pandemic learning loss, they should not underestimate how rising rates of chronic absenteeism may hinder this progress. During…

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Roadblock to Recovery: Student Absenteeism

Selecting a State Superintendent

By Rachel Canter I Executive Director Mississippi First has published a public memo to the State Board of Education to support the selection of a new state superintendent. This choice will not only be the most important decision the State Board makes this year; it will also be the most important decision they will make…

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Selecting a State Superintendent

The Future of Schools: Policy Vision

Today, we are excited to release our policy vision, “The Future of Schools: Supporting Families, Teachers, and Students.” This publication details three ways that Mississippi First believes we can change with the times in order to better serve all of our students.  Families: Align and Extend the School Day and School Year Juggling school and…

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The Future of Schools: Policy Vision

Communications Tools: Navigating Crisis

We would love to imagine a world in which school districts never have to engage in crisis communications, but this past month, schools began re-opening for a new school year right as the Delta variant is surging in Mississippi. In some ways, we know just as little about how this school year will unfold as…

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Communications Tools: Navigating Crisis

Mississippi First releases a new guide for schools!

Mississippi schools have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Every student now has access to a device, and the state is working to expand broadband access. These circumstances make it the right time for districts to establish a one-to-one technology initiative. Today, Mississippi First released our One-to-One Implementation Guide: Establishing Your District’s One-to-One Technology Initiative. The guide supports…

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Mississippi First releases a new guide for schools!

Re-Opening Plans 20-21

School will be different this fall for every Mississippi child. To help districts and parents stay informed, we created a new page on our website. Re-Opening Plan Tracker We have compiled a Google Sheet that provides school plans, social media accounts, and website information for every school district in Mississippi. Know re-opening plans vary widely…

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Re-Opening Plans 20-21