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Vol. 45, No. 45

June 23, 2011

State Board Approves Teacher and School Leader Standards

The State Board of Education has approved a group of standards that sets expectations of performance for Missouri’s teachers and school leaders.  The State Board made the action during its monthly meeting on June 15.

Development of the standards began several years ago through the work of the Missouri Advisory Council for the Certification of Educators.  The Office of Educator Quality at the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education convened more than 120 educators from Missouri school districts, colleges and universities, and professional associations to help finalize the standards.  This is the first time Missouri has adopted standards to help guide the development of teachers and school leaders.

The teacher standards are based on several nationally recognized sets of standards, as well as best practices of effective teachers who are reflective practitioners and lifelong learners continually acquiring knowledge and skills.  The standards may be used by public schools to meet the state statute that requires school districts to develop standards for teaching.

The school leader standards are based on Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium standards, which emphasize leaders as constantly seeking to improve their leadership practice, resulting in high academic achievement for students.

The standards also use a developmental sequence to illustrate how teachers and school leaders mature and strengthen throughout their careers.

Karla Eslinger, assistant commissioner of the Office of Educator Quality, said the successful development of the standards is evidence of the power of statewide collaboration. 

“Everyone worked hard throughout the process to listen and learn from each other while keeping what is best for Missouri students and schools as the top priority,” Eslinger said.

This is the first of three steps that will revamp the development of professional educators in Missouri.  The next two steps will be developing a system of support and assessment for teachers and school leaders and revising the process for how teacher and school leader preparation programs are approved.  Continuing the process used so far, the Office of Educator Quality will partner with representatives from the education community in this ongoing, collaborative work.