The state should require professional development to be based on needs identified through teacher evaluations.
Mississippi requires that each teacher has a post-appraisal conference with his or her evaluator to discuss strengths and areas that need improvement based on observations.
The state only specifies that professional development plans will be provided for teachers in Schools At-Risk that have been identified as needing improvement based on receiving an unsatisfactory evaluation. The professional development plan will "be based on each teacher's specific needs and teaching assignment."
Ensure that professional development is aligned with findings from teachers' evaluations.
Professional development that is not informed by evaluation results may be of little value to teachers' professional growth and aim of increasing their effectiveness in the classroom. While the state's focus on teachers in need of improvement in low performing schools is commendable, Mississippi should ensure that districts use teacher evaluation results in determining professional development needs and activities for all teachers.
Mississippi recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis. The state noted that the new evaluation system that it is developing "will afford all teachers the opportunity to receive professional development based on the evaluation results."