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Everything listed under: School Accreditation

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

    This post is Part 2 of a series on the Missouri Top 10 by 20 initiative. Read the first post in the series 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 is designed to help Missouri’s students rank in the top 10 states in the nation for academic performance by the year 2020.

    The initiative was designed to hold Missouri’s schools, teachers, and administrators accountable for providing students with a nationally competitive K-12 education. That accountability is broken down into several goals, this first of which is “all Missouri students will graduate college and career ready.”

    What Does it Mean to Graduate College and Career Ready?
    Missouri wants all students to quality for entrance into post-secondary education or training. “Post-secondary education or training” means different things for different students:

    · Junior college
    · 4-year college or university
    · Trade school or technical college
    · Military service

    One way that the state can determine whether high school students are on track for college and career readiness is to track their test scores on a variety of different assessments.

    Some of those tests are state-mandated (like the tests issues as part of the Missouri Assessment Program). DESE wants to see the percentage of students scoring at or above proficient level on state assessments to increase each year to exceed 75% of students in all subgroups by 2020.

    Other tests, like the ACT, SAT, COMPASS, and ASVAB are optional assessments used by colleges, universities, and the military to judge a students’ academic or military aptitude. Missouri aims for the percentage of students scoring at or above the mean of the top 10 states on these college and career ready assessments to increase annually.

    Finally, the state looks to student achievement on the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) as a way to measure college and career readiness. Specifically, Missouri wants to see the percentage of students scoring at or above proficient level on NAEP assessments increase by one percentage point at each test administration.

    Learn More: The NAEP and School Funding

    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.

    Learn More: How Missouri Prepares Students for College & Career Success:
    Missouri Updates Top 10 by 20 for Fiscal Year 2015
    Leadership Development Program Announced for Missouri Educators
    Missouri Administers ACT Free for 11th Graders
    Career & Technical Education in Missouri
    5 Ways Your Child’s School is Evaluated for Accreditation
    4 Cs of Education Teach 21st Century Skills Needed for College and Career Success


  • What are Performance Indicator Flags?

    MSIP5 is Missouri’s way of holding schools and districts accountable for working together to reach a top ten national rating in public education by the year 2020.

    MSIP5 is also the framework that the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education uses to calculate Annual Performance Report (APR) scores for each school and district in the state.

    Throughout the MSIP5 accountability system, a school or district that is meeting basic criteria overall may stand out as needing extra support in a specific improvement area. Likewise, a school or district that is average in most areas may stand out for its outstanding performance in another area. This is where Performance Indicator Flags come into play.

    The benchmark used by the state is that if a school or district falls below the 10th percentile or above the 90th percentile for a given subgroup on a given indicator, the school or district and the area of need are assigned performance indicator flag.

    According to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), “Performance indicator flags identified through the accountability system are utilized to further distinguish among those schools and LEAs most in need of support, to identify areas in need of improvement, and to guide the school improvement planning.”

    Ultimately, performance indicator flags are used to identify specific, systemic issues affecting schools or highlighting district-wide policies that contribute to poor or exemplary student performance. This process is just one more way that DESE is working to hold every K-12 public school in the state of Missouri accountable for providing quality education to students.

    To learn more about MSIP5 and Missouri’s school accountability processes, see these posts from the Missouri Parent Blog:

    Academic Achievement & School Accreditation in Missouri
    What are Subgroups, and How Does Missouri Measure Their Achievement?
    MSIP5 Performance Standard: High School (K-8) or College & Career (K-12) Readiness
    MSIP5 Performance Standard: Attendance Rate
    High School Graduation Rates & School Accreditation in Missouri
    What is the Missouri School Improvement Program?

  • High School Graduation Rates & School Accreditation in Missouri

    David H. Hickman High School graduating seniors listen to fellow senior Zophia McDougal speak at Mizzou Arena on Saturday, May 21, 2011. (Clint Alwahab/Missourian)

    One of our ongoing goals at Missouri Parent is to help you — the Missouri public school parent — to understand the MSIP5, or the Missouri School Improvement Plan. Today, we’ll tell you how MSIP5 uses high school graduation rates to help determine school accreditation.

    MSIP is Missouri’s accountability system for reviewing and accrediting public school districts. It was introduced in 1990, and it’s currently in its 5th cycle, or MSIP5.

    Want a quick overview of MSIP? Read this short blog post.

    Over the last several weeks, we’ve detailed each of the 5 Performance Standards that are evaluated under MSIP5. Graduation Rates are the fifth MSIP Performance Standard. Each of those five Performance Standards is part of the total Annual Performance Report (APR) score earned by a school or district under MSIP5. The state uses those APRs to help determine the accreditation status of each school or district.

    When Missouri refers to Graduation Rate in its Performance Standards, it’s referring to the rate of students who successfully complete high school or an education program that meets the state’s requirements for high school equivalency.

    Four-year graduation rates, 5+ year graduation rates, and alternative/non-traditional graduation rates (like the GED or the new HiSET exam) are all examples of successful high school completion under MSIP5.

    One important thing to understand about Missouri’s school systems is that not all of them continue through the 12th grade. If a school or a school district only provides K-8 education (as opposed to K-12 education), that school or district is not held accountable for high school graduation rate-based performance standards under MSIP5.

    As with most MSIP5 metrics for school success, Graduation Rate follows a complex formula. The overarching expectation of Missouri’s schools is to reach a 92 percent five-year graduation rate by the year 2020. For accountability purposes, the state set an 82 percent graduation rate goal for the year 2012.

    For detailed information about MSIP5, visit the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education online.

    For more from the Missouri Parents Blog on MSIP5, see these posts:

    What is the Missouri School Improvement Program?
    5 Ways Your Student’s School is Evaluated for Accreditation
    Academic Achievement & School Accreditation
    What are Subgroups, and How Does Missouri Measure Their Achievement?
    15 Missouri School Districts Earn 100% on Annual Performance Reviews

    Photo credit: Columbia Missourian

  • What are Subgroups, and How Does Missouri Measure Their Achievement?

    The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education calculates an Annual Performance Report score (APR) for every school and every district in the state.

    The Missouri School Improvement Program (MSIP) is the framework for the State’s APRs, and the resulting APR scores are used — along with other information — to determine each district’s accreditation status.

    Not sure what MSIP is? Read this short post.

    Under MSIP, there are five distinctive Performance Standards; Academic Achievement, Subgroup Achievement, High School Readiness (K-8) (or College and Career Readiness for K-12 schools), Attendance Rate, and Graduation Rate.

    Each of these five Performance Standards earns a Status Score, a Progress Score, and a Growth Score. Those scores are included in each school’s APR scoring matrix. We’ll talk more about Status, Progress, and Growth Scores in a future post.

    Today, though, we’ll talk about Performance Standard #2: Subgroup Achievement.

    Why Subgroups?
    To ensure inclusion and to differentiate between the needs of schools, Missouri issues and reports the academic achievement of those students who fall into a “subgroup” that has historically performed below state standards.

    According to the Department of Education, “A review of Missouri data identifies five significant gaps in subgroup performance (African American, Hispanic, low income students, students with disabilities and English language learners).” (source)

    Measuring Subgroup Achievement
    The achievement of all Missouri students, including those who fall into subgroups, is assessed through the Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) using MAP, grade-level (GLA), end-of-course (EOC), and MAP-alternate (MAP-A) assessments.

    A minimum of 95% of students must be assessed, and student performance must meet or exceed state standards or demonstrate the required improvement over time. For accountability (such as district accreditation) a super subgroup system ensures that students are only counted once, even if they fall into more than one of the state’s five subgroups.

    A weighted scoring system is used to ensure that subgroup achievement is sensibly and fairly evaluated and interpreted against non-subgroup achievement.

    Want to Learn More About MSIP5 and How Missouri’s Schools are Evaluated?
    What is the Missouri School Improvement Program?
    5 Ways Your Student’s School is Evaluated for Accreditation
    Academic Achievement & School Accreditation in Missouri
    15 Missouri School Districts Earn 100% of Annual Performance Reviews

  • School Leaders Propose Alternative to Current Student Transfer Law

    A group of Missouri education leaders have come together to propose a plan to provide assistance to under-performing schools in Missouri. The leaders were brought together by the Missouri Association of School Administrators (MASA), the Cooperating School Districts of St. Louis and the Cooperating School Districts of Greater Kansas City in an effort to find an alternative to the current school transfer law that is impacting school districts in the St. Louis area.

    “The education leaders were united in their belief that all students matter, all schools matter and all communities matter,” said Roger Kurtz, Executive Director of MASA. “They strongly believe that transferring students out of unaccredited school districts is not in the best interest of all students and will not lead to improvement of unaccredited districts or community revitalization.”

    “We believe that the under-performing school buildings should be the focus rather than school districts,” said Don Senti, Executive Director of the Cooperating School Districts of St. Louis. “All of the districts that currently are classified as unaccredited have some very high-performing schools within their district. By focusing on the school building, intervention strategies can be employed that are appropriate for the students, school and community.”

    The school leaders believe that business as usual must change. They are proposing four levels of accreditation for school districts. At the fully accredited level, no state intervention would occur.

    The second level would be provisionally accredited. At this level, a review group of successful practitioners would be assigned to conduct a thorough review of the district and make suggestions for improvement. Students in unaccredited school buildings within a provisionally accredited district would have the option of transferring to other higher performing schools within the district if they exist and have space. If the school does not improve within five years, it is moved to the third level for more intensive interventions.

    “It is essential that interventions begin as soon as a district becomes provisionally accredited,” said Gayden Carruth, Executive Director of the Cooperating School Districts of Greater Kansas City. “When a school building is identified as under-performing or academically stressed, interventions must begin. The changes selected must be implemented with fidelity and program designs must be research- or evidence-based.”

    The proposed third level of accreditation would be “Academically Stressed.” At this level, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education would review the district and make changes as needed including the possible removal of the board of education, the superintendent, the principal and teachers in under-performing schools and the possible voiding of all contracts in under-performing schools. The under-performing schools would be assigned to a School Achievement District. Intensive efforts would be made to improve the performance of the school. Once the performance has increased to an acceptable level, the school would be returned to the governance of the local school district.

    If the School Achievement District and local school district are unable to demonstrate sustained growth in the overall school district within five years, they move to the fourth level. At this level, the state board may designate the school district as lapsed at which time the students and physical property will be transferred to another local education agency under current Missouri law.

    The fundamental goal of the intervention plan is to provide support and resources needed to enable every student to attend a quality school in their own community.

    Read the proposal here.

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