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No. 44, No. 66

August 30, 2010

Nicastro Keynotes Education Vision Meeting

Commissioner of Education Chris L. Nicastro spoke to public school leaders today in Jefferson City about the need for major change in the education system to ensure success for all students. The event, jointly hosted by the Missouri School Boards’ Association and the Missouri Association of School Administrators, was designed to develop a comprehensive vision for the work of their organizations and the future of public education in Missouri.

In her remarks to superintendents and school board members, Nicastro said Missouri has been working on education reform for the past 26 years, amounting to two generations of students passing through public schools. Though many schools and districts have done well, overall Missouri continues to perform in the middle of the pack on nearly all national and international measures. “We must guarantee that every Missouri child leaves high school prepared for success in some sort of postsecondary experience and in the workplace. It’s not only an educational imperative, it’s an economic one.”

“A clear vision and a few very focused, high-impact goals will be critical to drive the improvement efforts necessary to bring about world-class results,” she said, highlighting the critical importance of early childhood education as a key component.

Nicastro said it will require significant change in the entire educational system pre-K through higher education to attain the governor’s goal of increasing college degree attainment to 60 percent of all students.