Missouri’s Board of Education approved a tentative plan for revised standards in schools across the state. The updated standards provide schools with guidelines for educator evaluation systems, which is required in school districts to help assess teacher performance.
Now, the board takes a variety of factors into account when evaluating student achievement such as standardized test performance, graduation rates and socio-economic breakdown of the districts. The new criteria are a more evolved version of the old standards.
Russell Still is a board member in Columbia. He says the new standards reflect the reality and challenges faced by schools.
“In general, they are recognizing that things are more complex I think our standards as to say class size, we’re recommending smaller, we’re recommending more assistant principals and that kind of thing," Still says. "So it’s a realization that schools have to do more, and they have to have more resources.”
These standards have a 30-day public comment period and have already received a lot of feedback from those concerned with education. Still says public response does not go unnoticed.
“We’ve already had a lot of feedback from people in the field," Still says. "People have had a variety of different ideas and the department has tried to put all that together into these new standards that go with the Missouri school improvement plan.”
The goal of the updated standards is to improve student performance statewide. The Board of Education has adopted a “Top 10 by 20” plan that aims to place Missouri students’ among the top 10 performing states by the year 2020.