News Releases

National Study Shows MDE Literacy Training Improved Teacher Capacity

by Xi Guo | Apr 13, 2017

Carey M. Wright, Ed.D., State Superintendent of Education

Office of Communications & Legislative Support
Patrice Guilfoyle, APR, Director of Communications *601-359-3706 *FAX:  601-359-3033
Jean Cook, Communications Specialist *601-359-3519


For Immediate Release: April 13, 2017

National Study Shows MDE Literacy Training Improved Teacher Capacity

JACKSON, Miss – A new study released by the Regional Educational Laboratory at Florida State University (REL Southeast) found that professional development provided by the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) to K-3 teachers improved teachers’ knowledge and practice of early literacy instruction.

The study examined the effectiveness of the Language Essentials for Teaching Reading and Spelling (LTRS) professional development program by measuring teacher knowledge of early literacy skills, the quality of early literacy skills instruction, engagement during early literacy skills instruction and teaching competencies. The study found teachers who participated in the training increased their knowledge and skills over and above any increases found among educators generally.

“This study validates the effectiveness of the literacy training the MDE provides to teachers, and underscores the importance of professional development for all educators. Ultimately, improved teacher practice helps students learn the skills they need to become successful readers,” said Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education.

The title of the study is, “Educator outcomes associated with implementation of Mississippi’s K–3 early literacy professional development initiative.”

Key findings:

  • Average educator knowledge increased from the 48th percentile to the 59th percentile on the Teacher Knowledge of Early Literacy Skills survey.
  • In target schools the average rating of quality of instruction increased from the 31st percentile to the 58th, the average rating of student engagement increased from the 37th percentile to the 53rd, and the average rating of teaching competencies increased from the 30th percentile to the 44th.

Since the passage of the Literacy-Based Promotion Act in 2013, the MDE has provided professional development related to literacy to more than 25,000 educators statewide.

The REL Southeast study supports a 2016 study conducted by the Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) that highlighted the MDE’s literacy improvement efforts.

Read the REL Southeast study here.

Read the SECC study here.



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