Toren Ballard is the Director of K-12 Policy at Mississippi First where he conducts research and advocacy for the purpose of improving Mississippi's public education system. Originally from rural Vermont, Toren taught social studies and physical education across every grade level in New York City until finding a passion for public policy and leaving the classroom for graduate school. After graduating from Columbia University Teachers College with a master's degree in Politics & Education, Toren moved south to Mississippi and has never looked back.
Who should decide what books are appropriate for children to read in Mississippi?
Anyone familiar with the legislative process understands how a narrow, limited, and even well-intentioned idea can spawn unintended consequences and morph into insidious governmental overreach.
Be wary of reading too much into your school district’s latest accountability grade
Mississippians should celebrate the improvements in school accountability grades but also understand they say very little about the current state of public education. No matter where you live in Mississippi, there is a good chance your local school district improved its “grade” on the Mississippi Statewide Accountability System this past year. Accountability grades released by…
Mississippi must continue to invest in its educator pipeline
Lawmakers could consider targeted strategies to incentivize the most at-risk teachers. Why are Mississippi teachers leaving their classrooms at an unprecedented rate? With one in five public school teachers in Mississippi leaving their job following the 2021-2022 school year, this question should be at the top of our minds as state lawmakers return to Jackson…
History in the U.S. House: McCarthy ousted as Speaker
Henifin to oversee Jackson sewer system along with water services
MAMA brings together resources for mothers seeking assistance
Green’s “The 48 Laws of Power” worth a read when considering business management, leadership
Why businesses should support a Citizens Police Academy