A little more than five years ago, a small group of men and women sat together interviewing the final candidates for the position of Missouri Commissioner of Education. We had agreed among ourselves that we had to find the new leader for the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). We wanted a new leader committed to significant positive change – change measured in far better education results for Missouri's 1,000,000 students. The status quo was not acceptable.
To fulfill the requirements of HB 1490, work groups are reviewing learning standards for Missouri students. The groups will meet September 22-23, October 2-3 and October 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.
As studies continue to show the importance of high-quality early childhood education, the Department has announced Missouri will apply for a federal grant that would produce needed funds for pre-K education in the state.
More than half of Missouri’s school districts increased their scores in the Annual Performance Reports (APR) released by the Department on Friday.
More than 97 percent of districts earned at least 70 percent of possible points. In all, 56.6 percent of districts raised their APR scores from 2013.
“Lower APR numbers show the need for a fresh start for the children of Normandy,” said Commissioner of Education Chris Nicastro. “As we begin the 2014-15 school year as the Normandy Schools Collaborative, under state oversight, we are determined to improve instruction, curriculum and focus on the educational needs of these students.”
Chris Holmes grew up watching his father teach college literature and composition, noticing the difference his dad made in the lives of his students. That experience, combined with the influences of teachers in high school and college, forged a teacher who tries to emulate those who inspired him.
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