Frequency of Evaluations: Mississippi

Identifying Effective Teachers Policy


The state should require annual evaluations of all teachers.

Suggested Citation:
National Council on Teacher Quality. (2013). Frequency of Evaluations: Mississippi results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from:

Analysis of Mississippi's policies

All teachers in Mississippi must be evaluated annually. Mississippi's new statewide evaluation instrument, M-STAR, is planned for full implementation during the 2014-2015 school year. 
M-STAR requires all teachers to receive at least two formal classroom observations with postobservations conferences. The formative observation is conducted in the fall and the summative observation in the spring. A minimum of five walkthrough classroom visits are also required throughout the school year. 

State now requires only one formal observation per year, for a minimum of 30 minutes. A minimum of two walk-through observations are required. State's intention is to streamline teacher observation cycle to allow for district discretion based on teacher performance.


Recommendations for Mississippi

State response to our analysis

Mississippi recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.

Research rationale

Annual evaluations are standard practice in most professional jobs.

Although there has been much progress on this front recently, about half of the states still do not mandate annual evaluations of teachers who have reached permanent or tenured status. The lack of regular evaluations is unique to the teaching profession and does little to advance the notion that teachers are professionals.

Further, teacher evaluations are too often treated as mere formalities rather than as important tools for rewarding good teachers, helping average teachers improve and holding weak teachers accountable for poor performance. State policy should reflect the importance of evaluations so that teachers and principals alike take their consequences seriously.

Evaluations are especially important for new teachers.

Individuals new to a profession frequently have reduced responsibilities coupled with increased oversight. As competencies are demonstrated, new responsibilities are added and supervision decreases. Such is seldom the case for new teachers, who generally have the same classroom responsibilities as veteran teachers, including responsibility for the academic progress of their students, but may receive limited feedback on their performance. In the absence of good metrics for determining who will be an effective teacher before he or she begins to teach, it is critical that schools and districts closely monitor the performance of new teachers.

The state should specifically require that districts observe new teachers early in the school year. This policy would help ensure that new teachers get the support they need early and that supervisors know from the beginning of the school year which new teachers (and which students) may be at risk. Subsequent observations provide important data about the teacher's ability to improve. Data from evaluations from the teacher's early years of teaching can then be used as part of the performance-based evidence to make a decision about tenure.

Frequency of Evaluations: Supporting Research

For the frequency of evaluations in government and private industry, see survey results from Hudson Employment Index's report: "Pay and Performance in America: 2005 Compensation and Benefits Report" Hudson Group (2005).

For research emphasizing the importance of evaluation and observations for new teachers in predicting future success and providing support for teachers see, D. Staiger and J. Rockoff, "Searching for Effective Teachers with Imperfect Information." Journal of Economic Perspectives. Volume 24, No. 3, Summer 2010, pp. 97-118.