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Top 10 by 20 Initiative Part V: Improving Educational Efficiency and Effectiveness

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


The Missouri Top 10 by 20 initiative is a statewide improvement measure designed to ensure that Missouri’s student achievement ranks top 10 in the nation by the year 2020. The initiative, which launched in 2009, the initiative is broken down into four primary goals:

Goal #1: All Missouri students will graduate college and career ready.
Goal #2: All Missouri children will enter kindergarten prepared to be successful in school.
Goal #3: Missouri will prepare, develop and support effective educators.
Goal #4: The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will improve departmental efficiency and operational effectiveness.

Today on the Missouri Parent Blog, we’ll delve into the fourth and final goal: “the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will improve departmental efficiency and operational effectiveness.”

We can’t blame you if reading about “efficiency” and “effectiveness” makes your eyes glaze over a little bit, but stick with us here: this is important stuff for Missouri’s public schools.

Missouri 10 by 20 isn’t a standalone plan; it’s helped spark other programs in the state, including reform plans, accountability systems, and even a comprehensive online data system for Missouri K-12 public education. Some of these tools and programs are directly related to Goal #4.

The Missouri Education Reform Plan
In March 2011, DESE published what it described as a “dynamic, working document called the Education Reform Plan Summary. The plan aligns directly with the Missouri 10 by 20 goals, and it provides details about how, exactly, Missouri will improve efficiency and effectiveness:

“…the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education must operate more efficiently and effectively than ever. The Department must develop its capacity to provide leadership and support in addition to its traditional roles of distributing funds and monitoring compliance. The Department of Education seeks to build the institutional structure needed to ensure long-term school improvement and attainment of Top 10 performance throughout the state. The Department must provide models and strategies for school districts and charter schools to use in improving instruction and ensuring high performance. Most of these strategies do not require additional resources but a different approach in the classroom, the school building, the district office or the state department of education; some strategies require additional resources. There is much we can do…even before we get more money.” (Source)

The Missouri School Improvement Plan (MSIP5)
The Missouri School Improvement Plan ties directly to the Missouri 10 by 20 Initiative’s fourth goal. It’s the state’s accountability system for reviewing and accrediting public schools and school districts in Missouri.

The MSIP policy goals include:
· Set expectations for student achievement that align with ultimate goal of all student graduating college and career ready
· Distinguish performance of schools and districts (i.e. accreditation)
· Empower stakeholders through transparent reporting and communications
· Promote continuous improvement and innovation

Learn More: What is the Missouri School Improvement Program?

MSIP5 holds schools and districts accountable for graduation rates, college and career readiness, attendance, and more. The bottom line: if you want to the effective of your child’s school, you should learn more about its accreditation.

Learn More: 5 Ways Your Student’s School is Evaluated for Accreditation

The Missouri Comprehensive Data System
The Missouri Comprehensive Data System, or MCDS, is an online resource that gives public access to education-related data for the state. While educators and administrators might get more out of the site than parents will, it’s still worth taking a look.

The MCDS provides demographic information for every district in the state. In addition, there are three tools on its website: Quick Facts, Guided Inquiry, and Advanced Inquiry.

· Quick Facts: Basic reports and documents on topics ranging from administrator salaries to Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) results.
· Guided Inquiry: Explore the same information as in Quick Facts, but create summary reports using simple filters.
· Advanced Inquiry: In-depth research and analysis of the same information made available in Quick Facts and Guided Inquiry. (Source)

By the year 2020, Missouri wants 100% of school districts to use the MCDS “to inform major decisions and improve efficiency.” (Source)

Improving efficiency and effectiveness of a statewide education system is no small feat. The Missouri School Improvement Plan, MSIP5, and the MCDS are just three ways that the state is trying to help student achievement reach the top 10 in the nation by 2020.

To learn more about Missouri’s education policy, funding, and accountability, come back often to the Missouri Parent Blog. We’re also on Facebook and Twitter, where we provide daily updates on the state of public education in Missouri.

More from Missouri Parent:
Missouri Updates Top 10 by 20 for Fiscal Year 2015
Top 10 by 20 Initiative Part II: Graduating College and Career Ready
Top 10 by 20 Initiative Part III: Entering Kindergarten Prepared for Success
High School Graduation Rates & School Accreditation in Missouri


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