The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) has approved $697,051 for Mississippi State University (MSU) to create the High Performance Leadership Institute, a program aimed at turning around failing and underperforming schools in Mississippi.
MSU will partner with the Mississippi Department of Education in the establishment of the High Performance Leadership Institute. After studying similar efforts in other states, MSU chose to use a model developed by the University of Virginia (UVa) for the institute. Following the UVa model, educators and personnel from failing and underperforming schools in Mississippi will receive training in business operations, financial management and leadership skills in order to help them improve their schools.
With guidance from UVa on the program, MSU personnel will work with teams from targeted Mississippi schools, helping them to develop improvement plans. These plans will contain specific activities, benchmarks, and quantifiable goals, including 90-day targeted action plans. Under this initiative, rather than the state or another outside agency taking over a failing school, MSU will develop the capacity at the local level to elevate and maintain the school’s performance and level of achievement.
In all, MSU will have a total of $897,865 for the Leadership Institute program, including the ARC funds, $156,814 in state funding and $44,000 from local sources.