Journal of Educational Leadership in Action


In 2013-2014, the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) implemented statewide the Mississippi Principal Evaluation System (MPES) and select components of the Mississippi Teacher Evaluation System (MTES). Now overseen by the Office of Educator Quality, these instruments and the professional development that accompanied them were originally developed collaboratively by the MDE’s Office of Federal Programs, Teacher Center, and Office of Career and Technical Education in order to help identify best practices for their principals and teachers, as well as to illuminate areas for improvement. Elements of both the MPES and MTES were piloted in 2012-2013.

While offering an opportunity to reinvigorate the state’s educational system, the MPES and MTES implementations have presented unique sets of challenges for the MDE and the agencies with which it contracted from 2012 to present. Beginning in 2012-2013, the MDE launched large, concurrent regional professional-development initiatives throughout the state to prepare district superintendents, school administrators, practicing teachers, and teachers in training for the new evaluation systems, both of which are aligned to the Common Core State Standards. Experiential evidence demonstrated the significance of a clear and comprehensive communication strategy when implementing training initiatives of this scale, as well as the importance of strong professional relationships between superintendents and principals and between principals and teachers when engaging in the goal-setting and evaluation processes. As revealed by survey, focus group, and interview data harvested from superintendents, principals, and teachers in independent studies by the Research and Curriculum Unit at Mississippi State University and the Southeast Comprehensive Center at SEDL, “buy-in” among educators has improved since 2012, though many initially struggled with and/or still lack confidence in navigating the new evaluation systems.

This paper explored the major influences that shaped Mississippi’s principal- and teacher-evaluation systems and provides preliminary results of the efficacy of the new systems, the training that accompanied them, and the lessons learned during the first two years of implementation.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.