The goal of the Office of Research and Development (ORD) is to conduct research studies that reveal insights that practitioners in our schools can use to improve student learning and outcomes. Our focus is aligned with the Mississippi State Board of Education Strategic Plan and our Framework and Agenda reflect the needs of the MDE program offices (and others) charged with implementing the Strategic Plan.
Each study described in the Framework and Agenda presents new challenges and opportunities to the agency, and as each is concluded, ORD will evaluate its practices and procedures in order to continuously improve and grow its capacity to conduct future research studies. ORD will continue to gather feedback from the field (stakeholders from the classroom to the state capitol) in order to develop future studies and shape the Framework and Agenda in order to maximize its relevance and value to Mississippi’s schools and students.
Developing the Framework
The development process for the Research Framework and Agenda comprised of several steps. Initially, staff from ORD interviewed program office staff regarding various needs and challenges. In total, 54 staff members across 23 program offices participated in focus groups. Combined with a thorough literature review, insights from the MDE program offices guided the development of the Research Framework and preliminary research questions. ORD presented early drafts of the Framework and Agenda with other state education agencies and leading national experts to gain the benefits of their expertise. Once ready, ORD presented a draft of the Research Framework and Agenda to the MDE executive leadership team. After incorporating their feedback, a final draft was produced. ORD will continue to hone this draft as it conducts its research and the needs to the field continue to evolve.
The Research Framework includes three major components: the dimension, the indicator, and the change instrument. The Framework is not static, and will evolve over time to remain aligned with changes in factors that impact the public education system.
The research agenda is driven by our State Board of Education’s strategic plan and the needs of program offices charged with its implementation. The proposed research questions guide all of our research across our goal and strategies outlined in the strategic plan.
Research Agenda Focus Group
Our research agenda focus group provided insights into what is important to each program office and provided a deeper understanding of the background of research to be studied. This helped the development of the MDE’s Research Framework and Agenda. Our initial group consists of 54 staff members across multiple offices from the agency. In our continued effort to update our research agenda, ORD will remain engaged to external stakeholders and update or revise the Research Framework and Agenda as appropriate.
Associated questions are the questions and ideas program offices articulated during the focus group discussions. They are organized by the associated Dimension from the Research Framework and clustered by the strength (strong, moderate, or marginal). Any questions that do not associate with a particular Dimension in the Dynamic Research Framework are available at the end of the list questions under the heading Unassociated Questions.