All Missourians are eager to ensure that graduates of Missouri’s public schools have the knowledge, skills and competencies essential to leading productive, fulfilling and successful lives as they continue their education, enter the workforce and assume their civic responsibilities. Schools need to establish high expectations that will challenge all students to reach their maximum potential. To that end, the Outstanding Schools Act of 1993 called together master teachers, parents and policy-makers from around the state to create Missouri academic standards. These proposed standards are the work of that group. The standards are built around the belief that the success of Missouri’s students depends on both a solid foundation of knowledge and skills and the ability of students to apply their knowledge and skills to the kinds of problems and decisions they will likely encounter after they graduate.
The academic standards incorporate and strongly promote the understanding that active, hands-on learning will benefit students of all ages. By integrating and applying basic knowledge and skills in practical and challenging ways across all disciplines, students experience learning that is more engaging and motivating. Such learning stays in the mind long after the tests are over and acts as a springboard to success beyond the classroom.
These standards for students are not a curriculum. Rather, the standards serve as a blueprint from which local school districts may write challenging curriculum to help all students achieve their maximum potential. Missouri law assures local control of education. Each school district will determine how its curriculum will be structured and the best methods to implement that curriculum in the classroom.
The academic standards are grouped around four goals:
- Goal 1 -- Students in Missouri public schools will acquire the knowledge and skills to gather, analyze and apply information and ideas.
- Goal 2 -- Students in Missouri public schools will acquire the knowledge and skills to communicate effectively within and beyond the classroom.
- Goal 3 -- Students in Missouri public schools will acquire the knowledge and skills to recognize and solve problems.
- Goal 4 -- Students in Missouri public schools will acquire the knowledge and skills to make decisions and act as responsible members of society.