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Everything listed under: Top10by20

  • Top 10 by 20 Initiative Part III: Entering Kindergarten Prepared for Success

    This post is Part 3 of a series on the Missouri Top 10 by 20 initiative. To read this series from the beginning, click here.

    In 2009, The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) launched a statewide education improvement effort called Missouri Top 10 by 20. The initiative aims for Missouri’s K-12 students to rank in the top 10 states in America in academic performance by the year 2020.

    Missouri 10 by 20 is broken down into several smaller goals and objectives. Those goals and objectives make the initiative more actionable and help hold teachers, administrators, and lawmakers accountable for ensuring student success.

    We’ve written already about Missouri 10 by 20 Goal #1: “All Missouri students will graduate college and career ready”. Today we’re here to talk about Goal #2: “All Missouri children will enter kindergarten prepared to be successful in school”.

    To help young learners prepare for kindergarten, parents need to account for basic factors like creating a safe and nurturing home environment and making sure young children receive the health care they need. Formalized early childhood programs, however, also play a role in preparing kids for kindergarten.

    To that end, Missouri has identified screenings, parent education, and quality early childhood programs as some of the best tools for helping Missouri’s babies, toddlers, and preschoolers get ready for school.

    Health Screenings for Missouri Children

    One of the ways that Missouri measures its success in preparing kids for kindergarten is by tracking the percentage of young children who are screened for health concerns and developmental delays each year.

    Early childhood health screenings help professionals to identify developmental delays, nutritional shortfalls, and other issues that could have a negative impact on a young child’s overall wellness and on his or her success in school.

    The state plans to increase the percentage of young children (birth through kindergarten) who receive developmental screenings and health screenings by 2% annually.

    Learn More: This Q&A, published by DESE, goes into more detail about health and developmental screenings.

    Parent Education Home Visits in Missouri

    Another way that Missouri is helping young children prepare for kindergarten is by providing services and education directly to their parents. Families are a child’s first (and primary) educator: A child will be more prepared for kindergarten if his or her family is engaged and supportive, playing an active role in his or her development and education.

    Parent education home visits provide information, support, and encouragement that parents need to help their children develop in the early years. Programs like Parents as Teachers work with parents to help them understand their child’s development, and home visits also help them to strengthen their parenting practices.

    Home visitors are trained to help families detect developmental delays or other health issues that might be detrimental to a child’s learning and development. They help prevent child abuse and neglect, and all-around, they increase children’s readiness for success in school. (source)

    Missouri’s goal is to increase the number of parent education home visits — to both at-risk and not-at-risk —families with young children by 2% each year.

    Learn More: Parenting Education in Missouri

    Quality Standards in Missouri’s Early Childhood Education Programs

    Finally, Missouri recognizes the need for an increase in the number of early childhood programs for Missouri’s infants, toddlers, and preschools that meet established quality standards.

    Missouri adopted a series of 10 Early Learning Program Standards in 2011 to help ensure high quality early education opportunities that would help prepare Missouri’s youngest learners for school. Some of Missouri’s specific educational programs and grants available to support infant, toddler and preschool education include Missouri Head Start.

    Learn More: Parents as Teachers’ Alignment with State Early Learning Standards

    In June of this year, Governor Nixon signed Senate Bill 869 and House Bill 1831. These two bills “establish a transparent set of quality indicators for child care providers”, says Governor Jay Nixon’s office.

    The Governor says, “these quality indicators will give parents the tools and information they need to choose the right childcare provider for their family.”

    Those quality indicators include things like state licensure, health and safety requirements, use of curricula, additional staff training, and any history of violations. (Source)

    The state hopes to increase these programs by 2% annually.

    Educational and service organizations across the state are working together to provide families with the health screenings, parent education home visits, and higher quality early childhood programs. Together, these programs and services are working to help Missouri reach the Top 10 states in the nation in student performance by 2020.

    Missouri Top 10 by 20 is a statewide improvement effort that aims for student achievement in Missouri to rank among the top 10 states in the nation by 2020. Learn more about Missouri 10 by 20 on the DESE website.

    Missouri Updates Top 10 by 20 for Fiscal Year 2015

    Top 10 by 20 Initiative Part II: Graduating College and Career Ready

    Preparing Your Child for Kindergarten in Missouri

    Now for Later: A Campaign for Early Childhood Education in Missouri

    Stay up to date on Missouri 10 by 20 and other Missouri public education policy and funding initiatives by coming back often to the Missouri Parent Blog, liking us on Facebook and following us on Twitter.


  • Missouri Updates to Top 10 By 20

     

    This October, the Missouri State Board of Education approved Fiscal Year 2015 updates to Top 10 By 20. Top 10 by 20 is Missouri’s statewide improvement effort that aims for student achievement in Missouri to rank among the top 10 states in the nation by 2020.

    According to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), the updated plan, “focuses on leadership, collaborative culture and climate, teaching/learning practices, assessments to inform teaching and learning, effective use of data, and parental/community engagement.” (source)

    Learn More: View the entire Top 10 by 20 Plan for Fiscal Year 2014-15 here.

    Top 10 By 20 launched in 2009, and according to DESE, it has made a difference in school quality and student performance:

    “We have gotten better,” DESE spokesperson Sarah Potter told KOMU News in Columbia, Missouri. “Proficiency rates have improved since we first started tracking and graduation rates have improved. The problem is that every other state is improving right along with us. Graduation rates are improving all over the country.” (source)

    Missouri’s graduation rates have improved. Last year, Missouri had the 8th highest graduation rate in the United States, an especially impressive feat considering that the nation’s graduation rates are they highest they’ve been in more than 30 years.

    Missouri doesn’t just want students to graduate high school, however. We want our students to graduate ready to succeed after high school. That’s why Top 10 by 20 outlines four key areas of improvement for K-12 education: (source)

    1. All Missouri students will graduate college and career ready.  TWEET THIS

    2. All Missouri children will enter kindergarten prepared to be successful in school.
    TWEET THIS

    3. Missouri will prepare, develop and support effective educators.
    TWEET THIS

    4. The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will improve departmental efficiency and operational effectiveness.
    TWEET THIS

    Commissioner of Education Chris Nicastro says that DESE will emphasize capacity building in Fiscal Year 2015 to help the state achieve its Top 10 by 20 goals:

    “Missouri continues its focus on ensuring that all students have access to high-quality education,” said Nicastro. “To reach the Top 10 by 20, the Department will focus on building statewide capacity to implement supports and, when necessary, interventions designed to improve student achievement.” (source)

    Student achievement is t the heart of Top 10 by 20. Come back to the Missouri Parent Blog to learn more about accountability efforts like Top 10 By 20, and to stay up to date on education funding and legislative issues affecting Missouri’s public schools.

    This post is Part 1 of a 5 Part series on the Missouri 10 by 20. Come back to learn more about each of the initiatives four goals, and how the state measures its success against each goal.



     

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