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Julie Jordan���������������������������������������������������������������������� Director Betsey Smith����������������������������������������������������Associate Director Pam Stafford���������������������������������������������������� Business Manager Gayle Fortenberry����������������������������������������������Project Manager Kristi Jones�������������������������������������������� Administrative Assistant Kristin Fuhrmann����������������������������������������������Project Manager Holli Mitchell������������������������������������������������� Project Coordinator Lemond Irvin���������������������������������Instructional Design Specialist Mhaire Nickles�����������������������������������������������������������Receptionist Scott Kolle��������������������������������������Instructional Design Specialist Kenny Langley����������������������������������������������������Project Manager


Sean Owen��������������������������������������� Associate Research Professor Nithya Arumugam��������������������������������������Programmer Analyst Ashley Brown�����������������������������������������������������Project Manager Shelly Hollis��������������������������������������������������������Project Manager Justin Samuels���������������������������������������������������������Web Designer Bhanupriya Shanmugam�����������������������������������Project Manager Michelle Taylor���������������������������������������������������Project Manager COMMUNICATION, RESEARCH, & EVALUATION

Kristen Dechert��������������������������������������������������Project Manager Amanda Gronewold���������������������������������������� Graphic Designer Anne Hierholzer����������������������������������������������������������������Editor Roslyn Miller����������������������������������������������Research Associate III Supriya Mishra������������������������������������������������� Data Coordinator Derick Reid����������������������������������������������������Graduate Assistant Dana Seymour����������������������������������������������������Project Manager

Cindy Ming����������������������������������������������������������Project Manager Alexis Nordin��������������������������������������������Research Associate III Myra Pannell���������������������������������������� Senior Research Associate Denise Sibley���������������������������������������� Senior Research Associate Suzanne Tribble�����������������������������������������Research Associate III Amanda Tullos���������������������������������������������������Project Manager Jo Ann Watts���������������������������������������� Senior Research Associate Jolanda Young������������������������������������������������ Project Coordinator PROFFESIONAL LEARNING

Marilyn Bowen��������������������������������� Associate Research Professor Suzanne Bean������������������������������������������������������Project Manager Myra Gillis�����������������������������������������������������������Project Manager Lois Kappler�������������������������������������������������������Project Manager Leanne Long�������������������������������������������������������Project Manager Brad Skelton��������������������������������������������������������Project Manager Theresa Wheeler����������������������������������������� Research Associate II





g n i r tu c u r t


es R d


Mississippi Department Gr of Education Total

Performance-Based Compensation (Governor’s Pilot)

Career & Technical Education



oo h c S e v i $4,846,883.15 novat In va E r to a c u Ed lin e s n Cou E

CT Counseling Study

$50,000 Educator Evaluation




Innovative Schools

$100,000 Graduation Restructuring


Teacher Education for Rural Middle Schools Evaluation

$185,000 Coahoma Agricultural High School High-Performance Leadership Institute*


Performance-Based Compensation (ARC Pilot)*



Non-MDE Total

$1,412,428 All Grants & Contracts Total



$6,259,311.15 CTE

* No-cost extensions



The assessment team researches, develops, and disseminates statewide career and technical education (CTE) assessments for Mississippi. For over 10 years, the RCU has provided assessment and reporting services for all secondary and postsecondary CTE programs in the state. The RCU aligns curricula and assessments with national industry standards and conducts job-demand research for the state to determine the viability of each federally funded CTE program.

52,740 students tested electronically


with MS-CPAS2


35 item alignment, reliability, and validity reviews conducted

140 teachers participating

2000 2000

1500 1500

1000 1000

500 500


1,244 students tested with PBA



students assessed for national certifications

In today’s increasingly competitive job market, applicants must stand out from their peers, and a certification that indicates mastery of fieldspecific knowledge is one way to do this. As part of our mission to prepare students for successful careers, the RCU plays a pivotal role in helping CTE students across Mississippi obtain national industry certifications in fields such as information technology, culinary arts, and energy technology. Working with the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE), the RCU assists testing coordinators with administering certification exams and serves as a liaison to the state and national industry groups that oversee the exams. In just the second year of the program’s availability, 1,053 secondary students from 13 CTE pathways across Mississippi earned 1,122 national certifications in their chosen fields. In the coming years, the MDE and RCU will seek to expand the availability of nationally recognized certifications for CTE students throughout Mississippi to meet growing employer demand for skilled employees.

Nat'l CertsNat'l Certs



P U B L I C AT I O N S & P R E S E N TAT I O N S •  Brocato, K., Willis, C., & Dechert, K. (2014). Longitudinal school data use: Ideas for district, building, and classroom leaders. In A. Bowers, A. Shoho, & B. Barnett (Eds.), Using data in schools to inform leadership and decision making (pp. 97-120). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing. •  Dechert, K., Nordin, A., & Kappler, L. (2015). Developing and implementing educator-evaluation systems in Mississippi. Journal of Educational Leadership in Action, 3(1). Available at

PRESENTATIONS •  Brocato, K., Willis, C., & Dechert, K. (2014, November). Using data in schools to inform leadership and decision making. Panel discussion at the meeting of the University Council for Educational Administration, Washington, D.C. •  Dechert, K., & Jordan, J. (2014, October). Performance-based compensation for teachers: A seven-district pilot study in Mississippi. Paper presented at the meeting of the Consortium for Research on Educational Assessment and Teaching Effectiveness, Williamsburg, VA. •  Miller, R., (2014, April). Learning to teach secondary mathematics in the rural South. Presented at the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA.

C U R R I C U L U M & I N N O VAT I V E S C H O O L S The RCU’s instructional design specialists align curricula with national industry standards and conduct job-demand research for the state. The resulting curricula are used by high school teachers throughout Mississippi to deliver content that combines academic rigor with marketable skills.

NEW & UPDATED CURRICULA Over 200 teachers served on curriculum-writing teams. Curricula updated in FY15 will impact 216 programs and 5,508 students.

26 secondary program

curricula were finalized and approved by the Mississippi Board of Education.

CURRICULA APPROVED FOR FY15 2014 Agriculture Power and Machinery 2014 Agriculture Technology and Mechanical Systems 2014 Automotive Service Technician 2014 Dental Assisting Technology 2014 Digital Media Technology 2014 Engineering 2014 Family and Consumer Science 2014 Food Products: Meats 2014 Forestry 2014 Health Science 2014 Healthcare and Clinical Services 2014 Information and Communication Technology I 2014 Information and Communication Technology II

2014 Information Technology 2014 Lodging, Hospitality, and Tourism 2014 Sports Medicine 2014 Teacher Academy 2014 Welding 2015 Carpentry 2015 Collision Repair Technician 2015 Cosmetology 2015 Keystone 2015 Metal Fabrication 2015 Polymer Science 2015 Precision Machining 2015 Television Broadcasting and Production

F Y 2015 H IGH L IGH T S GOLDEN TRIANGLE EARLY COLLEGE HIGH SCHOOL Years of planning and preparation paid off when the Golden Triangle Early College High School (GTECHS) opened its doors to its first class of 61 freshmen in August 2015. Throughout FY15, a team at the RCU was busily laying the groundwork for Mississippi’s first early college high school. In partnership with the MDE , East Mississippi Community College (EMCC), the Mississippi State University (MSU) College of Education, and the MSU Office of Research and Economic Development, the RCU helped hire GTECHS staff, held community meetings for interested parents, designed the program of study, and oversaw the student-application process. GTECHS, which is located on EMCC’s Golden Triangle campus, follows an early college model that offers motivated students the chance to gain early exposure to college while earning college credit as they complete their high school coursework. GTECHS also provides students a small, close-knit atmosphere in which students are encouraged to “read, write, think, talk—every class, every day.” Now that GTECHS is up and running, the RCU is working to increase similar opportunities for students by expanding the early college high school model to at least three more Mississippi communities in the coming year.

•  Miller, R., & Brown, A. (2014, November). Authentic measurement of student learning with performance-based assessment. Presented at the Association for Career and Technical Education VISION 2014 Conference, Las Vegas, NV. •  Miller, R., & Brown, A. (2014, October). Measurement of student learning in career and technical education with performancebased assessment. Presented at the Consortium for Research on Educational Assessment and Teaching Effectiveness, Williamsburg, VA. •  Osborne-Lampkin, L. D., Lindahl, C. M., Dechert, K., Nordin, A., Herrington, C. D., & Jordan, J. (2015, April). The next wave of principal reform? Conceptualizing principal evaluations for alternative school leaders. Paper presented at the meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, IL.

•  Scott-Bracey, P., & Taylor, M. (2015, March). A comparative review of Mississippi business teacher certification methods. Paper presented at the Business Education Research Conference, Chicago, IL. •  Taylor, M., & Scott-Bracey, P. (2015, March). A comparative analysis of the business education licensure requirements in Mississippi. Paper presented at the Business Education Research Conference, Chicago, IL. •  White, L., Nordin, A., Dechert, K., & Kappler, L. (2014, October). Tailoring principal evaluations to alternative and special schools. Paper presented at the meeting of the Consortium for Research on Educational Assessment and Teaching Effectiveness, Williamsburg, VA.


professional learning course completers PARTICIPANTS Face-to-Face: 3,848 Online: 660 Hybrid/Blended: 209

4,717 -e ot

F ca


aF ec






NEW TEACHER INDUCTION 65 new CTE teachers completed the recently redesigned program. /d

Stepping into a new job as a CTE center administrator can be a daunting experience. Luckily for new CTE administrators in Mississippi, the CTE Administrator Endorsement Training provided by the RCU (in partnership with the MDE) is there to help ease the transition. During this year-long training, facilitated by the RCU professional learning team, new administrators have the chance to network with peers and are paired with a mentor, all while learning about essential topics, such as curriculum, assessments, and student organizations. As the training progresses, the new administrators’ needs are assessed to allow the training sessions to reflect administrators’ current professional development needs. The CTE Administrator Endorsement Training, which was completed by 21 administrators during FY15, provides a strong foundation for Mississippi’s CTE programs by equipping leaders with the knowledge, access to experts, and ongoing support system they need to influence and drive the success of their CTE centers and students.

lB ne


100 online courses offered Processed over 1,900 online


d de

F Y 2015 HIG H LI G H T S


The professional learning team is dedicated to helping Mississippi educators perfect the craft of teaching. Using versatile teaching styles and state-of-the-art delivery methods, we encourage educators to implement innovative teaching strategies to better reach a diverse population of learners.

CANVAS LEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEM 1,133 Canvas courses created for teachers to use with students in the classroom.

44,446 students enrolled CERTIFICATION OF ONLINE LEARNING (COOL) 339 COOL certificates awarded 2014 MSACTE ANNUAL CONFERENCE 1,223 registered attendees

C O M M U N I C AT I O N & O P E R AT I O N S 284 design and

editorial projects



The RCU communication and operations teams disseminates research and evaluation results in a variety of eye-catching formats.


500 Twitter followers,

300 Facebook followers

CONNECTIONS 9,442 combined recipients of Connections magazine (2 issues, each with around 10 feature stories and 10 spotlights) PRINT SHOP 354 total print jobs

R E S E A R C H & E VA L U AT I O N The research and evaluation team employs quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-method designs to provide timely and useful analyses to state policymakers and educators. Our goal for all research and evaluation is to assist stakeholders in making informed decisions that support effective innovations for schools and programs.

PERFORMANCE-BASED COMPENSATION PILOT 2,136 combined participants in surveys and focus groups EVALUATION OF MISSISSIPPI’S K-12 EDUCATOR EVALUATION SYSTEMS 19,221educator-evaluation ratings analyzed

EVALUATION OF TEACHER EDUCATION FOR RURAL MIDDLE SCHOOLS The RCU serves as evaluator for this MSU College of Education project funded by the USDE. EPSCOR TRACK II The RCU served as Mississippi’s internal evaluator for this NSF-funded project.

ACROSS ALL PROJECTS: 4,431 educator research participants F Y 2015 H IGH L IGH T S M-STAR EVALUATION One of the RCU’s core functions is serving as an evaluator, examining programs to determine their strengths and weaknesses. During FY15, the RCU partnered with the MDE to evaluate the new Mississippi Statewide Teacher Appraisal Rubric (M-STAR) process. The M-STAR, which is composed of 20 standards, is used to evaluate teachers’ classroom performance as part of Mississippi’s larger teacher evaluation system. The goal of M-STAR is to improve student learning and outcomes by holding teachers accountable for research-based instructional practices. RCU researchers analyzed statewide M-STAR data to determine how well the process differentiates performance among teachers and then reported the results to the MDE. Findings from this project will allow the MDE to refine the M-STAR process as needed to ensure it is positively contributing to teacher performance.

Research findings, CTE news, and best practices are shared through the RCU’s active social media presence, a biannual magazine for K-12 CTE, and printed and electronic media designed for education projects and groups across the state. All staff at the RCU assist clients with needs and requests, such as design projects, online course modules, and rosters for testing, via our help desk system.



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103 Russell Street Starkville, MS 39759 MAILING ADDRESS

P.O. Drawer DX Mississippi State, MS 39762 PHONE

662.325.2510 FAX


Founded in 1965, the RCU contributes to Mississippi State University’s mission as a land-grant institution to better the lives of Mississippians with a focus on improving education. In particular, the RCU benefits K-12 and higher education by developing curricula and assessments, providing training and learning opportunities for educators, researching and evaluating programs, supporting and promoting career and technical education, and leading education innovations.

ORED Annual Report 2015  
ORED Annual Report 2015