• Future of Schools

In an effort to support families, teachers, and students we have published a new policy vision that details three ways that Mississippi can work to improve education for all.

Major Takeaways

Families: Align and Extend the School Day and School Year

Juggling school and work schedules has long been overly difficult for most American families, and as children have returned to in-person school, we are more aware than ever that something needs to change.

Teachers: Re-Envision the Day-to-Day Role of a Teacher

Every teacher knows that shouldering the weight of instructional or policy change often falls squarely on them, without any new resources, technical assistance, or time to manage the shift. It’s time to re-envision what the role of a teacher is.

Students: Virtual Course Choice

Finding great teachers for every higher-level or specialized course in every Mississippi district has proven difficult, especially for Mississippi’s small and rural districts. A new virtual course choice program could fill this void.


Rachel Canter

Executive Director

Rachel Canter is the Executive Director of Mississippi First and author of many Mississippi First reports, including Leaving Last in Line, the State of Pre-K series, and Public Perception of Public Charter Schools (2019). Rachel founded Mississippi First in 2008.

Toren Ballard

Director of K-12 Policy

Toren Ballard is the Director of K-12 Policy at Mississippi First. Nothing in the Pipes was his first major report published at Mississippi First. Toren was also responsible for the 2020 release of the Public Perception of Charter Schools in Mississippi.