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Education Officials Praise Signing of Unaccredited School District Legislation

State education officials are pleased that Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon signed into law today Senate Bill 125, which gives the State Board of Education more flexibility to take action when a school district becomes unaccredited.

The new law eliminates the required two-year waiting period before the Board can intervene in the governance of an unaccredited school district. Removing the waiting period allows the Board to act in a timely manner.

Governor, National Education Experts Set to Speak at Annual Conference

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon and three national education experts will be the featured speakers at Missouri's annual conference for school administrators July 28-30 in Columbia.

More than 500 superintendents, principals and other school leaders from across the state are expected to attend the 52nd Annual Cooperative Conference for School Administrators. The event is sponsored by the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Pioneers in Education to be Recognized by State

Five individuals will be honored Monday as Pioneers in Education for their commitment and contributions to public education in Missouri.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will formally recognize the 2013 Pioneers as part of the 52nd annual Cooperative Conference for School Administrators at the Holiday Inn Executive Center in Columbia, Mo. More than 500 school district leaders will be in attendance.

Students from Missouri School for the Deaf Involved in Bus Accident

A charter bus transporting approximately 15-17 students from the Missouri School for the Deaf (MSD) in Fulton was involved in a one-vehicle accident Friday afternoon, according to school staff.

The accident occurred on I-70 in Montgomery County at the Danville exit. Several students sustained what are believed to be minor injuries and were taken to University Hospital in Columbia, Mo. A majority of the students were being treated and discharged.

Seven Finalists Selected for 2013-2014 Missouri Teacher of the Year

Seven public school teachers have been chosen as finalists for the 2013-14 Missouri Teacher of the Year award, state education officials announced today.

Nominations for the award were submitted by school districts throughout the state. The finalists are chosen, based on their written application, by a selection committee appointed by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

This year's finalists are:

Essential Principles of Effective Evaluation Approved by State Board of Education

The State Board of Education gave final approval Monday to guidelines for evaluating teachers and administrators in Missouri schools.

School districts can adopt the state model or design their own system, incorporating the approved principles.

"Quality teachers and school administrators are key to improving student performance,” said Commissioner of Education Chris L. Nicastro. "The evaluation principles are designed to provide support and guidance to educators throughout their career in order to increase student achievement."

State Board of Education Starts Long-Term Planning in Unaccredited Districts

Today the State Board of Education approved the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s recommendation of developing a plan to direct the transformation of failing school districts in the state. The Department issued an invitation for bid last month for comprehensive analyses of school system challenges in unaccredited districts with the aim of developing strategies that will deliver dramatic improvement in student performance.

ACT Report Shows College Readiness Needs Improvement

Three out of four (76 percent) Missouri ACT-tested high school graduates in 2013 met at least one college readiness benchmark, according to ACT's The Condition of College and Career Readiness 2013 annual report released today. Only 28 percent of Missouri test-takers met all four benchmarks, which was above the national average of 26 percent and an increase of 1 percent over 2012. An achievement gap still persists in Missouri with 5 percent of African Americans and 18 percent of Hispanic/Latinos meeting all four benchmarks on the ACT.