Missouri Recognized for Plan to Improve Access to Excellent Teachers


Missouri is being recognized for its plan to recruit, prepare and retain effective teachers for all public schoolchildren in the state, especially in high-poverty, high-minority or rural districts. The U.S. Department of Education is highlighting Missouri’s educator equity plan in three areas:

  • Preparing educators: Missouri’s plan includes long-term strategies to recruit highly skilled, diverse individuals into the teaching pipeline and to work with higher education institutions to ensure effective and relevant preparation in content and performance.
  • Identifying critical shortages: The Department’s plan includes a shortage predictor model to identify educator shortages in content areas, grades and regional locations that present recruiting challenges.
  • Supporting principals and school leaders: Missouri’s plan highlights its leadership development system to support school leaders through their preparation, their induction into schools, and throughout their careers.

Missouri’s plan also earned praise for stakeholder engagement. Department staff met with education association representatives from around the state to determine the plan’s timeline, root causes of inequity, and innovative strategies to address the problem. Department staff organized regional focus groups to provide feedback on proposed strategies for improving educator equity.

“We are eager to move forward to improve equal access to quality education for Missouri students,” said Paul Katnik, assistant commissioner in the Office of Educator Quality. “All kids deserve to have qualified, effective teachers and school leaders no matter where they live or how big or small their school may be.”

Missouri is among 16 states earning first-round approval for efforts to achieve educator equity. All 50 states were required to submit educator equity plans earlier this year to the U.S. Department of Education.

Preparing, developing and supporting effective educators is one of the ways Missouri is working to ensure that all Missouri students reach the Top 10 by 20 goal of college and career readiness.