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Missouri Pre-K Funding Declines

According to the State of Preschool 2012 report released Monday by the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), Missouri’s pre-kindergarten funding suffered an 18 percent reduction in 2012, resulting in $500 less being spent per child. This is the lowest amount of state spending per child enrolled that’s been seen in the past 10 years.

Missouri now ranks 33rd of 40 states with programs for resources dedicated to pre-K, dropping from 32nd in 2011.

Two Missouri Seniors Named U.S. Presidential Scholars

Two Missouri high school seniors have been honored by the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars.

Tiffany Lee, a student at Lindbergh High School in St. Louis, and Corey M. Matzat, a student at Branson High School, were named 2013 U.S. Presidential Scholars for their academic achievement. They have been invited to attend National Recognition Weekend in June in Washington, D.C., where they will be awarded the U.S. Presidential Scholars medallion.

College Content-readiness Policy Approved for Common Core Standards

A college content-readiness policy was approved last month by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium’s 21 governing states, including Missouri.

“The approval of the college content-readiness policy is part of the next step in the development of assessments of our college- and career-readiness content standards,” said Missouri Commissioner of Education Chris L. Nicastro. “These assessments will help determine whether our students are college- and career-ready prior to leaving high school and provide the opportunity to intervene before remediation is needed.”

State Board Approves Missouri's Model Educator Evaluation System

The State Board of Education gave final approval Tuesday to a model evaluation system for educators in Missouri. More than 100 school districts across the state have been pilot testing the system during the 2012-2013 school year.

School districts can adopt the model system or implement a system of their own that aligns with seven Essential Principles of Effective Evaluation set by the state.

Still Receives Friend of Education Award

Russell Still, a member of the Missouri State Board of Education, was honored recently by the Missouri National Education Association (MNEA) for his contributions to public education.

Still was presented with a Horace Mann Friend of Education Award.

"This award recognizes Russell's dedication to the students of our state," said Commissioner of Education Chris L. Nicastro. "As a member of the State Board and a former local school board member he has given a great deal of time and energy to improving public education in Missouri."

Trenton High School Receives National Breakthrough Schools Award

Trenton High School has been recognized for its work to improve student achievement by the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).

The high school is one of 10 schools nationwide to receive a MetLife Foundation-NASSP Breakthrough Schools award for 2013.

The award recognizes middle schools and high schools that serve large numbers of low-income students and are high achieving or are dramatically improving student achievement.

Practice Tests Provide Preview of New Statewide Student Assessments

Schools across Missouri can now participate in practice tests to help them prepare for new statewide assessment testing set to begin during the 2014-2015 school year.

The practice tests will allow teachers, parents and students to try out the new online Smarter Balanced assessment system. Sample test questions were made available to the public Wednesday at smarterbalanced.org/practice-test/.

Missouri Ranked Top 10 in Nation for Graduation Rate by Diplomas Count

Missouri ranks eighth in the nation for graduating 80.7 percent of its high school students in 2010, according to the Diplomas Count 2013 report released today by Education Week and the Editorial Projects in Education (EPE) Research Center. This is the second year the state has been in the top 10 and the fourth consecutive year the state has seen growth in its graduation rate.