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September 2014
Commissioner's Video Message
Missouri Commissioner of Education Chris Nicastro discusses the Kansas City Public Schools, the state’s MAP scores, Missouri’s rise in ACT scores and more. View via YouTube or webstream.


Goal #1- All Missouri students will graduate college and career ready.

Work Groups to Begin Studying Education Standards
To fulfill the requirements of HB 1490, work groups are reviewing learning standards for Missouri students. The groups will meet Sept. 22-23, Oct. 2-3 and Oct. 20-21 in Jefferson City. Members of the groups were nominated by the governor, lieutenant governor, lawmakers, the Department of Higher Education and educator associations. The members include active classroom teachers and parents of school-age children, and they represent each geographic region of Missouri. Read more.

Missouri's ACT Score Improves for First Time in Nearly 10 Years
After nearly a decade of scoring at 21.6, Missouri graduates have raised their ACT composite score to 21.8. The score is higher than the national average of 21. Missouri students who met ACT benchmarks in reading and science also rose. Click here to find out more regarding Missouri’s ACT scores.

Annual Performance Reports Released
The Department released the 2013-14 Annual Performance Reports (APRs) in August. These reports are used to review and accredit Missouri’s school districts, and to determine appropriate supports and interventions needed at the school and district level. Click here for more information on the Missouri School Improvement Program and to find out individual district scores.

MAP Scores Released
The Department released scores from the 2014 Missouri Assessment Program last month. Results were mixed as more than 300 districts and charter schools showed gains in English language arts and math. However, the average rate of efficiency statewide dropped in English language arts, math and science. Read more.

Pathways to Prosperity Teams with IBM for Internships
Pathways to Prosperity teamed with IBM to provide internships for two Missouri students this summer. The interns received real business training and the chance to explore careers they might be interested in after graduation. Pathways to Prosperity is a national education initiative designed to build career pathways for high-school-aged students. Read more

Missouri Learning Standards Newsletter
The Department produces a newsletter devoted to learning standards in Missouri. This e-newsletter keeps Missourians updated on the latest information related to Missouri Learning Standards and includes blog posts and videos. For more information on the standards, including how to subscribe to the newsletter, visit www.missourilearningstandards.com.

Goal 2 - All Missouri children will enter kindergarten prepared to be successful in school

Parents as Teachers Training Opportunities Available
The parents as Teachers Professional Learning Communities Fall 2014 training opportunities are now available on the Early Learning website. The “Allocations, Payments, Reporting and More” afternoon session for the September trainings will be presented by the Early Learning staff.

Missouri to Apply for Early Childhood Education Grant
The Department is in the process of applying for a grant that could give the state more than $17 million per year for early childhood education. The grant, renewable for up to four years, is being offered to expand capacity for high-quality preschool in targeted high-needs community. The Department held a roundtable discussion with numerous education stakeholders to discuss the application. Read more

Goal 3 - Missouri will prepare, develop and support effective educators.

Chris Holmes Named Missouri Teacher of the Year 
Hazelwood West High School journalism teacher Chris Holmes has been named the 2014-15 Missouri Teacher of the Year. Holmes began his teaching career in the Clayton School District and has been with the Hazelwood School District since 2006. Read more about Chris Holmes and his contributions to education.

Student Learning Objectives (SLO) Training Opportunities

Beginning in September, regional service providers throughout Missouri will be offering a new series of training opportunities for educators. The trainings will center on a timely and critically important issue in educator evaluations: the use of student growth data. This type of data is required to be a significant contributing factor in evaluations by 2015-16, although the extent of this contribution is up to individual school districts. Student Learning Objectives (SLOs) are a type of student growth measure appropriate for teachers of all subject areas and grades. Click here for training dates. For an orientation on SLOs, visit the Educator Growth Toolbox.

Goal 4 - The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will improve departmental efficiency and operational effectiveness.

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Top 10 by 20 - Missouri Proud! Missouri's Top 10 by 20 Initiative
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Let us know you support Missouri's Top 10 by 20 initiative! Individuals can sign on as supporters, and organizations can sign on as partners in this effort. We invite your ideas for helping Missouri reach this important goal. Send us a note, or better yet, send a letter to the State Board of Education and/or adopt a resolution at your next meeting. Samples are provided to help you get started.

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