Higher standards approved for Missouri school districts

The State Board of Education approved higher standards for public schools at its meeting Dec. 1 and Dec. 2 in Branson.

The fourth revision of the Missouri School Improvement Program, known as MSIP 5, raises the bar once again to keep education standards among the highest in the nation.

“I commend the visionary leadership of our state board members and many stakeholders who have worked tirelessly to ensure the new standards will meet the needs and expectations of our students and our state,” Commissioner of Education Chris Nicastro stated in a news release. “The updated standards support our goals to promote continuous improvement statewide and to ensure all students graduate ready for success in college and careers.”

Earlier this year, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education assembled a steering committee of citizens and education leaders to design a process for engaging stakeholders and collecting input to MSIP 5. A series of regional meetings then were conducted in June and July to identify revisions needed to the proposed MSIP 5 rule.

“Educators, business people and other community leaders across Missouri have told us how important it is that we have higher expectations for education,” Nicastro stated.  “MSIP 5 is a critical component for continuing to build a quality educational system in our state.”

It will be two years until school districts across the state will be held accountable to MSIP 5 standards and evaluation criteria. Until that time, the current MSIP 4 standards remain in place, the release stated.

The state education department now is working with stakeholders and technical experts to develop an MSIP 5 scoring guide, which will identify the point when each standard is successfully met. Early next year, a similar process will get under way to update a companion set of standards and expectations for the delivery of quality instructional processes and educational resources.