Date: April 23, 2013
Dr. Lynn J. House
Interim State Superintendent of Education
Mississippi Department of Education
P.O. Box 771
359 North West Street
Jackson, MS 39205
Dear Superintendent House:
I am writing to inform you of the outcome of the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED’s)review of Mississippi’s guidelines for teacher and principal evaluation and support systems. During the week of July 16, 2012, two peer experts reviewed Mississippi’s guidelines and the corresponding changes to Principle 3 of Mississippi’s request. ED staff also reviewed Mississippi’s submission, and both the peers and ED provided feedback to Mississippi regarding its submission.
Based on the review of Mississippi’s guidelines, the corresponding changes to Principle 3 of its approved ESEA flexibility request, and the information Mississippi submitted on September 7, 2012, October 22, 2012, January 11, 2013, March 1, 2013, and March 27, 2013 and April 5, 2013, it is determined that Mississippi meets all the requirements of ESEA flexibility. The determination that Mississippi’s guidelines meet the requirements of Principle 3 is based on these reviews and the changes Mississippi made in response to that feedback. I congratulate you on submitting guidelines and a process for ensuring that each district in Mississippi develops, adopts, pilots, and implements teacher and principal evaluation and support systems consistent with those guidelines, both of which reaffirm Mississippi’s commitment to improving academic achievement and the quality of instruction for all of the State’s elementary and secondary school students.
Mississippi’s complete request for ESEA flexibility has already been fully aproved through the 2013–2014 school year. In the meantime, ED will continue to monitor Mississippi’s implementation of ESEA flexibility, including the development and piloting of evaluation and support systems consistent with Mississippi’s guidelines. While ED understands and expects that Mississippi may make changes to its guidelines as a result of ongoing development and piloting efforts, Mississippi should ensure that any such changes are consistent with Principle 3 of ESEA flexibility by consulting with ED. Depending on the nature and extent of such changes, Mississippi may need to submit a request to amend its approved ESEA flexibility request. If you have any questions regarding the amendment process or anything else related to Mississippi’s implementation of ESEA flexibility, please contact Grace Ross at (202) 260-0967 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A copy of Mississippi’s approved request for ESEA flexibility, including its guidelines for teacher and principal evaluation and support systems, as well as the revised Principle 3, will be posted on the ED’s web site at: www.ed.gov/policy/elsec/guid/esea-flexibility/index.html. Again, I congratulate you on developing guidelines for teacher and principal evaluation and support systems that meet the requirements of ESEA flexibility and thank you for the work that you and your staff have done. I look forward to continuing to support the State as you implement Mississippi’s ESEA flexibility request and work to improve the quality of instruction and academic achievement for all students.
Deborah S. Delisle
cc: Dr. Kim S. Benton, Interim Deputy State Superintendent for Instructional Enhancement and Internal Operations