Teaching Standards Under Fire in Missouri Again
October 26, 2015

(AP) – Proposed new learning standards for Missouri K-12 students are drawing criticism.
Recommended goals for what children should learn in each grade were presented at a State Board of Education meeting Monday.
Lawmakers in 2014 required the state board adopt standards in an attempt to ditch the national Common Core learning guidelines in place.
Suggestions for more engineering and higher-level thinking in secondary science drew praise from educators.
But others criticized learning goals for some subjects as disjointed between grades. An opponent said the proposals were too similar to Common Core, while some questioned the need to move away from Common Core.
A number of Common Core critics blasted the process used to shape the recommendations.
The state board aims to vote on learning goals in March.

Scores Look Good Statewide on MAP test
August 11, 2015

Missouri students scored higher in many categories of the new 2015 statewide tests than scores from 2014.

The statewide average were released Tuesday by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE)

Overall nearly 60% of the students in grades 3-8 (59.7%) scored in the proficient or advanced categories.

45.2% in mathematics.

56.7% in science.

63.4% in social studies.

Educators, however, cautioned against making comparisons to previous tests. That’s because the 2015 MAP test used new, different standards and assessments in many categories.

One of the biggest differences was how the test was taken.

For the first time, students in grades 3 through 8 took the test by computer rather than using the traditional pencil and paper test taking methods.

Scores of individual districts will be released next week.

lDESE says no district will lose its classification if it scored poorly in this brand new test. Some schools, however, could see rankings improved with an increase in scores.

Both the Kansas City, Missouri and Hickman Mills district in the Kansas City area, on provisional accreditation because of low test scores in the past.

KC Schools Get Provisional Accreditation Restored
August 6, 2014

The Missouri Board of Education removed the Kansas City Schools from the unaccredited list Wednesday.
The board, I’m a unanimous vote, gave the district provisonal accredit ion.
Officials at the Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education ( DESE) said Kansas City had made enough improvement to regain provisional accreditation, but more work needs to be done.
Officials note some improvement in area like English Language Arts, Math and Science over the last two years.
But DESE also told the Bjard they were hoping for
More “student achievement t progress”.
Board President Peter Herschend warned Kansas City still had lots of progress to make, especially over the Cong school year.
Herschend warned without that progress the district’s accreditation could be in jeopardy once again
The news comes as the Kansas City district prepares to start the 2014-15 school in in a few days.

State Boards Tell KC Schools to Wait for Accreditation
July 22, 2014

The Kansas City school system did not get its wish today.
The Missouri Board of Educations did not grant the district provisional accreditation.
The Kansas City district asked the Missouri Board to immediately grant them provisional accreditation. The district says its made improvements in its academic performance.
The state board, however, doesn’t see it that way.
“There is not sufficient data available yet for KCPS to verify that they have earned provisional accreditation,” according to a statement from DESE Tuesday afternoon.
The latest round of state test scores should be available in late August.
The unaccredited district expected to get its provisional accreditation restored at that time.
Kansas City thought it had improved enough in 2013 to regain accreditation.
Missouri Education Commissioner Chris Nicasto said the state was looking for a sustained trend of improvement , rather than just a good score on one round of tests.
The district says it has been make steady improvement now for three years.
Superintendent Steven Green says the district wanted to get the accreditation settled before the school year started.
He said that would prevent students who can transfer out of the district because of the lack of accreditation, having g to rejoin the school ( or provisional accreditation) is restored.

Nixon Vetoes Student Transfer Bill
June 24, 2014

(AP) – Calling it a “dangerous voucher scheme,” Gov. Jay Nixon on Tuesday vetoed a measure that would allow the use of public money to pay for certain students to attend private schools.

In making good on his vow to block the legislation, Nixon said it would only worsen the problems of a pair of struggling St. Louis County school districts as well as others that risk losing accreditation.

“Not only does (the bill) fail to solve the school transfer problem it was intended to address, it would create new problems and exacerbate the hardship faced by children who attend unaccredited schools,” Nixon said at press conference in St. Louis County.

The school transfer legislation would have eliminated a requirement that unaccredited districts such as Normandy and Riverview Gardens in suburban St. Louis pay for students’ transportation to new schools. It called for accreditation of individual schools rather than entire districts.

Nixon vetoed the bill earlier Tuesday in Jefferson City. In a separate move, the Democratic governor also vetoed or froze more than $1.1 billion in spending Tuesday for Missouri’s next budget, citing concerns about declining revenues and the potential for new tax breaks to drain state dollars even further.

Students in unaccredited districts St. Louis city, St. Louis County and Jackson County could have tapped local tax revenue to pay for private school tuition, subject to local voter approval. Systems that had lost accreditation for at least three straight years would not have needed voter consent.