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Updated on March 14, 1998

Mississippi -

In 1982 the Mississippi State Legislature, through the "Education Reform Act" mandated the development of an assessment system suitable to assess use of effective teaching methods by beginning teachers as well as all other educators. This beginning teacher program was essentially required evaluations for decisions about continued employment and eventual teacher certification. The instruments developed for beginning teachers have 14 generic teaching competencies which address planning and materials, teaching skills, and interpersonal and communication skills. The beginning teacher prepares a portfolio of lesson plans and artifacts of teaching to help document the teacher's accomplishments. Each semester a team of three, including a state trained and certified external evaluator, the principal, and a peer teacher ,observes the teacher and completes the evaluation instruments. The team has to offer "remediation for deficiencies" found in their evaluation of the beginning teacher. The peer teacher in this evaluation system is not considered a mentor. For information about the assessment instruments and indicators for each competency, see Bureau of School Improvement. (1990). "Mississippi Teacher Assessment Instruments". Jackson, MS: Mississippi State Dept. of Education.

In 1991 Mississippi passed legislation mandating that all Mississippi schools had to develop a Mentor Teacher Program that would provide training for mentors, and mentoring assistance to beginning teachers. The training for mentors is supported by state funding. The Mentor Teacher Program was planned as a collaborative effort of the Mississippi State Dept. of Education and a state university.

Full implementation was planned for 1994. However, no state funding was made available to support that effort and full implementation was postponed.

If you are aware of incorrect statements in this material OR if you can add authoritative new information concerning mentoring and induction in the various United States, please contact Barry Sweeny with that information. His e-mail is

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