Date: December 8, 2013
Dr. Carey Wright
Superintendent of Education
Mississippi Department of Education
PO Box 771
Jackson, MS 39205-0771
Dear Dr. Wright:
I am writing in response to Mississippi’s request to amend its approved Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA) flexibility request received on October 13, 2013. Specifically, Mississippi requests that its local educational agencies (LEAs) have until the 2016–2017 school year to use the results of its teacher and principal evaluation and support systems, which include student growth as a significant factor, to inform personnel decisions. Mississippi also requested additional amendments that are being considered separately.
After careful review, I am pleased to approve Mississippi’s amendment. Please note that this amendment does not change the timeline for implementing teacher and principal evaluation and support systems that meet the requirements of ESEA flexibility. Consistent with Mississippi’s approved ESEA flexibility request, Mississippi must fully implement systems incorporating student growth no later than the 2014–2015 school year. However, with this additional flexibility, the LEAs in Mississippi may have until the 2016–2017 school year to begin using the results of the new evaluation system to inform personnel decisions. Attached is an example of a teacher and principal evaluation and support system implementation schedule that would comply with the timeline permitted under this additional flexibility.
Mississippi must make necessary changes to its ESEA flexibility request that are related to this amendment. Mississippi may do so in the redlined request that it submits, as necessary, as part of the ESEA flexibility extension process or as part of any other changes approved to the ESEA flexibility request that require redlined changes.
I am confident that Mississippi will continue to implement the reforms it proposed under its approved ESEA flexibility request and advance its efforts to hold schools and school districts accountable for the achievement of all students. If you need any additional assistance to implement your ESEA flexibility request, please do not hesitate to contact Jessica Skrebes at Jessica.Skebes@ed.gov
Deborah S. Delisle