Reimagining Education

Speak up! Comments open on new state education policy

Right now, you can have a say in the way the state measures and tracks school accountability.

The Missouri Board of Education just recently released a draft of the state’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan, which is the state’s response to new federal education guidelines designed to ensure that all students have a significant opportunity to have a fair and equitable high-quality education and to close educational achievement gaps.

The full plan can be found here, and the Missouri Board of Education is accepting comments on the new plan through July 15 before submitting the final plan to the U.S. Department of Education in September.

A recent St. Louis Public Radio story on the plan noted that the state “is doing ‘only what’s necessary’ to meet new federal education guidelines and still be eligible for the funds tied to them,” but some key points in the plan include:

  • The plan aims to reduce by half the rate at which students fail to graduate and to reduce by half the rate at which students fail to achieve proficiency over the next 10 years.
  • The state expects 81.5 percent of students to be proficient (MPI of 367.5) in English language arts and 74.3
    percent of students to be proficient in mathematics (MPI of 360.9) by 2026.
  • The plan relies heavily on the Missouri School Improvement Program (MSIP) which is also in the process of being re-evaluated (see below).
  • State grants and help from state experts will be extended to low-performing, low-income school districts.
    Regional meetings held in September and October of 2016 resulted in public comments asking for more focus on individualized learning needs, problem-based learning, and access to more opportunities.
  • The state is developing a Virtual Learning Platform to provide self-directed online professional development to teachers and administrators.

Don’t miss your chance to share your views on the new ESSA plan before it is finalized and submitted to the federal government.


Missouri School Improvement Plan being revised


The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) is currently working on revising the state’s main school accountability system – the Missouri School Improvement Program (MSIP).

A variety of DESE development teams are re-evaluating the current MSIP with goals for revision including a focus on college and career readiness, creating a valid assessment for school success, and encouraging improvement and innovation.

  • The Academic Achievement team is focusing on content areas, assessments, and measurements of achievement, progress, and growth.
  • The Climate and Culture team will make recommendations about how to evaluate and incentive positive culture and community engagement for schools.
  • The Effective Educators and Instructional Practices team will make recommendations for how to evaluate the strength of a district or charter LEA in regard to the instructional processes and educator practice.
  • The Effective and Stable Leadership and Governance team will examine issues surrounding governance and management, including policy, resources, strategic planning and implementation, and public engagement.
  • The Success Ready Graduates team will make recommendations about how best to evaluate how a school system prepares its graduates for college, career, and life.
  • The Systems and Processes team will address reporting, review timelines and weighting of standards from a global perspective.

Summaries of the teams’ progress can be found here.

A draft of the new MSIP is expected to be published in October with a public comment period in November. The finished version of the plan is expected to be finalized in January 2018.


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