As Missouri's new standards for educator preparation take effect, several changes are ahead for students working to obtain teacher certification.
The standards, approved by the State Board of Education in November 2012, include new assessments being phased in over the next two years for prospective teachers as well as guidance counselors, librarians and school administrators.
The assessments are part of the new Missouri Educator Gateway Assessments (MEGA) program, a comprehensive approach for assessing the preparation of educators in Missouri.
"These new standards and assessments will help ensure Missouri is developing effective educators to provide the quality instruction students need for success in college, other postsecondary education and a career," said Paul Katnik, interim assistant commissioner at the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. "The assessments focus on what it takes to be an effective educator."
Preparing, developing and supporting effective educators is a primary goal of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's Top 10 by 20 initiative, which calls for education in Missouri to rank among the Top 10 performing states in the nation by the year 2020.
The MEGA program assessments include:
- Missouri General Education Assessment: This test for admission into undergraduate professional education programs at Missouri colleges and universities includes sections on English language arts, writing, mathematics, science and social science. The assessment is set to begin September 2013 and will replace the current College BASE (CBASE) test.
- Missouri Educator Profile (MEP): This new assessment is designed to measure a person's aptitude for working in the field of education. The MEP will begin in September 2013 and will assess the characteristics of individuals pursuing certification as a teacher, counselor, librarian, principal or superintendent.
- Content Specialty and Pedagogy Assessments: These exit exams must be completed by prospective educators, including teachers, counselors, librarians, principals and superintendents, for all areas of certification they are seeking. The assessments are aligned with state and national standards and will begin in September 2014. They will replace the current Praxis test.
- Missouri Standards-Based Performance Assessments: These new assessments for prospective teachers, counselors, librarians, principals and superintendents will measure their performance in content, coursework and clinical experiences, including internships and student teaching. The assessments will begin in September 2014.
Other new requirements for educator certification in Missouri include:
- Grade point average: Higher grade point averages (GPA) will be required for educator certification, including a 2.75 cumulative GPA in college coursework, a 3.0 GPA in professional education classes, and a 3.0 GPA in content classes related to the certification a person is seeking.
More information about educator preparation can found here.