Qualifying scores on all Missouri Content Assessments will remain the same for the 2015-16 test year, while some exams will be adjusted using other measures.
The State Board did not take action on adjusting the scores. Further discussion will take place in July when the State Board meets with the Coordinating Board of Higher Education. The Board will revisit the issue again at its regularly scheduled August meeting.
The Missouri Content Assessments are a series of exit examinations that must be passed by prospective teachers, counselors, librarians, principals and superintendents. The exams replaced the Praxis in September 2014.
“Having effective educators is a goal all Missourians share,” said Missouri Commissioner of Education Margie Vandeven. “Effective teaching measures both content knowledge and how to teach it well.”
“The exam is more rigorous than the previous exams,” said Paul Katnik, assistant commissioner in the office of Quality Schools. “The ultimate goal is to have effective teachers who understand the content and can help our students succeed.”
A small number of assessments will feature adjustments that include increasing the amount of time given to take the test, as well as fewer questions. Adjustments will be reviewed carefully to see what impact they have on the overall passing rates. A Content Advisory Committee and a Bias Review Committee will be convened to review the current frameworks.
“We need to keep educator standards high,” said Board member John Martin. “We need to make teaching a desirable profession for people accomplished in their field.”
The Department and stakeholders will continue to review the exams to ensure accuracy and alignment with state and national standards.
Preparing, developing and supporting effective educators is one of the primary goals of Missouri’s Top 10 by 20 initiative, an ambitious effort to improve students achievement in Missouri to rank among the top 10 state by 2020.