Teacher wants Process and Resources in MSIP 5

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COLUMBIA - A Columbia teacher wants the "Process and Resource Standards" put in the proposed fifth step of the Missouri State Improvement Program. MSIP 5 is a program the state uses to help better kids for their post high school plans. The "Process and Resource Standards" involve ways Missouri school districts can improve their performance in order to get state accreditation, but they are only recommendations and not requirements. The amount of time that's recommended for school curriculum and teacher planning time are part of the "Process and Resource Standards." "Performance Standards" are the only way a district is accredited from the Department of Secondary and Elementary Education. Nonetheless, they are not in the proposed MSIP 5, angering teachers who want it put back in. That's part of the reason the State Board of Education withdrew the MSIP 5 rule from their meeting last Wednesday. The board will review MSIP 5 again in its August meeting after more feedback from teachers.

"Effective practice and good practice will show that teachers need planning time, and local districts recognize the need for that decision," DESE Office of Quality Schools Coordinator Margie Vandeven said.

With the recommended standards not in the rule right now, teacher Kathy Steinhoff worries there might be less emphasis on a teacher's planning time inthe future. She has about an hour of teacher planning time a day right now.

 "I can really envision some wonderful creative lessons that can really get my kids excited and engaged, but it takes time," Steinhoff said.

The "Process and Resource Standards" were required for districts to follow for MSIP's 1-3. The current MSIP 4 has the rule, but it is not a requirement. Even so, Steinhoff thinks the rule should be in there.

"We have to give teachers adequate planning time...when we aren't concerned about how we get those good test scores, what I fear is a lot of different things will be going on in the state."

DESE says even if MSIP 5 doesn't have the recommendation, it doesn't mean the state is putting less emphasis on teacher planning time. It feels like it doesn't need to put the rule in if school districts don't have to follow it.