|The The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB Act), which reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), places a major emphasis upon teacher quality as a factor in improving student achievement. The new Title II programs focus on preparing, training, and recruiting high-quality teachers and principals and requires States to develop plans with annual measurable objectives that will ensure that all teachers teaching in core academic subjects are highly qualified by the end of the 2005-2006 school year. Reaching this goal will require reform of traditional teacher training, which usually conducted in colleges if education, as well as the innovative expansion of alternative routes to teacher licensure. It will also require more effective in-service training and professional development for teachers currently in the classroom.
In determining the amount of each State's allocation, the Department first allots to each State the amount the State received for FY 2001 under the Eisenhower Professional Development and Class-size Reduction programs. The Department distributes any remaining funds based on the following formula:
- 35 percent is based on each State's relative population of children ages five through 17; and
- 65 percent is based on each State's relative number of individuals ages five through 17 from families with incomes below the poverty line.
In Mississippi, the program serves to provide:
- Professional development activities in core academic subject areas to ensure that teachers and highly qualified para-professionals (and, when appropriate, principals) have subject matter knowledge in the academic subjects they teach (including knowledge of how to use computers and other technology to enhance student learning) and principals have the instructional leadership skills to help them work more effectively with teachers to help students master core academic subjects.
- Development and provision of assistance to Local Education Agencies (LEAs) and to their teachers, highly qualified paraprofessionals, or school principals, in providing sustained, highly-qualified professional development activities that ensure that those individuals can use challenging State academic content standards, student academic achievement standards, and State assessment to improve instructional practices and student academic achievement; include intensive programs designed to prepare individuals to provide instruction related to the professional development described in the preceding paragraph to others in their schools; and include activities of partnership between one or more LEAs, one or more of the LEAs' schools, and one or more Institutions of Higher Education for the purpose of improving teaching and learning at low-performing schools.
All Mississippi institutions of higher education and non-profit organizations with demonstrated effectiveness in professional development programs for educators are eligible to apply for a grant.
For more information, contact Dr. Susan P. Lee at 601.432.6522.