rachel canter

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 in the next several years.

A vision for public education that builds on progress:

Our new superintendent must demonstrate a commitment to Mississippi’s signature policy advancements as well as a willingness to tackle old and new problems that threaten to hold Mississippi back.

A record of successfully leading change:

Our new superintendent must show a history of successful systems change work, the ability to effectively manage a large organization, evidence of attracting and retaining high-quality staff, the capacity to provide a steady hand through crises, and a dedication to longevity.

A commitment to transparency, evidence, and continuous improvement:

Our new superintendent must promise transparency in data and decision making, support evidence-based interventions, improve data and data systems, and believe in continuous improvement. 

A collaborative mindset:

Our new superintendent must model the collaboration it expects of schools by working well with peer agencies, the legislature, state policymakers, advocacy organizations, and other providers.

We know that this process can be exciting but risky. Mississippi will need to choose its next education chief wisely if it hopes to continue the upward trajectory we have enjoyed over the last decade. We look forward to working with the State Board in whatever capacity we are called upon to support a successful search. 

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