Skip to main content

Skip to Content

Report Bug

State Board of Education Releases State Superintendent Search Survey Results


For Immediate Release: Oct. 20, 2023

State Board of Education Releases State Superintendent Search Survey Results

JACKSON, Miss. – The Mississippi State Board of Education (SBE) today released the results of its survey of members of the public about the qualities and priorities they believe the next state superintendent of education should have to help ensure every student in Mississippi graduates from high school prepared for success in college, career and life.

Approximately 900 people completed the survey. Most respondents identified themselves as teachers (35%), followed by district/school administrators (17%), parents/guardians (16%) and business/community leaders (4%). The remaining respondents included postsecondary representatives, statewide leaders/legislators, students, school/district employees and other citizens.

The survey asked respondents to rate the level of importance of a list of qualities and priorities they want from the next state superintendent of education and were provided the opportunity to add additional comments.

The majority of respondents rated the following qualities as “very important” or “extremely important”:

  1. Inspires trust, has high levels of self-confidence and optimism, and models high standards of integrity and personal performance: 89%
  2. Is strongly committed to a “student first” philosophy in all decisions: 85%
  3. Develops and communicates a vision coupled with the ability to lead a large, complex organization dedicated to continuous improvement: 83%
  4. Possesses the ability and passion needed to continuously improve student performance on a statewide basis, especially in identifying and closing student achievement gaps: 80%
  5. Identifies and selects team members who can advance the State Board of Education Strategic Plan: 80%
  6. Possesses the leadership skills required to meet the challenges of a racially, ethnically and culturally diverse state: 76%
  7. Works with legislators on key issues and leads a complex organization throughout the legislative process: 75%
  8. Provides leadership in the planning, implementation, and assessment of relevant professional development for all state educators: 71%
  9. Is a resident of Mississippi or has some ties to Mississippi: 62%


The majority of respondents rated the following areas of focus as “very important” or “extremely important”:

  1. Develop and retain effective teachers: 95%
  2. Increase access to high-quality Career and Technical Education programs and pathways that lead to national industry certifications: 83%
  3. Improve academic outcomes in low-achieving schools and districts: 80%
  4. Increase access to high-quality early childhood programs: 73%
  5. Support students’ social and emotional learning and mental health needs: 73%
  6. Increase access to advanced coursework (AP, dual credit/dual enrollment, IB): 65%
  7. Decrease achievement gaps among student subgroups: 64%
  8. Sustain and/or increase the rigor of academic standards: 63%
  9. Help students accelerate learning and recover from the pandemic: 59%
  10. Require programs implemented by the Mississippi Department of Education to collect data about how each program has improved student proficiency or performance to determine if a program is effective or should be continued or modified: 57%
  11. Increase capacity of teachers and leaders to implement digital learning: 52%

The SBE will use the survey results to help evaluate candidates for the state superintendent of education position. The SBE is working with the firm McPherson & Jacobson, LLC to lead the search process and expects to select a final candidate before the end of 2023. Senate confirmation during the 2024 legislative session is required to complete the appointment process.

Find all MDE news releases at


Media Contact:

Jean Cook, APR
Chief of Communication

Shanderia Minor
Public Information Officer