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Mississippi can delay high-stakes teacher evaluations

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By JEFF AMY
Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - The federal government has granted Mississippi permission to delay a year using evaluations to hire and fire teachers.

The decision was announced Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Education.

When the state won a waiver from federal education law in 2013, it promised local school boards would start using new state teacher evaluations in personnel decisions in 2015-2016.

Half of the evaluation system depends on student test scores. But school boards will decide which teachers they will retain for an additional year in spring 2016. Then, the evaluations will be using data from the first year of multistate tests geared to Common Core academic standards.

Mississippi Department of Education spokeswoman Patrice Guilfoyle says officials want another year of test data, waiting until 2017 before using evaluations to hire and fire.

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