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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.

Fenton Educator Named Missouri Teacher of the Year

For Jamie Manker, school was always a place that built up her confidence. As a social studies teacher and department chair at Rockwood Summit High School in Fenton, Mo., Manker works to instill that same kind of confidence in her students and fellow teachers.

“I promote a spirit of self reliance,” Manker said. “My most important contribution has been to change the attitude of the students I teach and the teachers I lead from one of passive acceptance of failure to vigorous drive for success.”

State Releases Annual Performance Reports for Districts and Schools

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has released the first set of annual performance reports (APRs) for Missouri schools based on the state's newly revised accountability system.

The fifth version of the Missouri School Improvement Program (MSIP 5) was approved by the State Board of Education in 2011, giving schools two years to prepare for the new accountability requirements.

Education Department Requests Motion to Amend Gordon Parks Decision

The State Board of Education and the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education have filed a motion to amend the decision on the Gordon Parks charter school in Kansas City.

"We are requesting the amendment in order to clear up some of the factual inaccuracies expressed in the ruling that was written by opposing counsel," said Chris L. Nicastro, commissioner of education.

The State Board voted not to renew the school's five-year charter application at its May meeting. A decision by a judge last month overturned that vote.


State Board of Education Reaches Agreement on Gordon Parks Ruling

The Missouri State Board of Education and the Gordon Parks Elementary School have agreed on language in an amended final judgment on the school's charter application. Last week the Board filed a motion to amend the judge's decision citing factual inaccuracies in the ruling, which was written by opposing counsel. The final judgment removed those inaccuracies. The charter school's contract remains intact.