Parents, Teachers React to School Rule Changes

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MOBERLY - Parents and teachers from mid-Missouri contributed their opinions Thursday on the proposed "MSIP5" rules for the Missouri School Improvement Program.

MSIP is a statewide reviewing and accrediting process for the 522 school districts in the state. Going into its fifth cycle, the State Board of Education proposed changes to the rules:

  • MSIP5 would get rid of the resource and process standards, and address performance only;
  • Annual electronic data reviews would be mandatory instead of five-year on-site reviews;
  • School districts would need to collect "pipeline data," meaning the percent of students who successfully progress from ninth grade through high school graduation within five years, attended post-secondary education and graduated with either an associate's degree within three years or a bachelor's degree within six years;
  • SAT® (Scholastic Aptitude Test or Scholastic Assessment Test), COMPASS®, and other four assessments would also be added to the rule for district accreditation.

Jim Masters, superintendent of the Monroe City School District, said the additional assessments would burden the districts.

"Will you spend your time testing? Or will you spend your time teaching? We want to spend our time teaching our students, but we need those periodical assessments. The important thing is where is that balance," said Masters.

Andy Turgeon, superintendent at the Knox County School District agreed.

"For example, we give the MAP Test at the end of March, middle of April, in that time frame. When you're giving the MAP Test, you are taking time to give that test, because you're gonna get them in the computer lab or fit the end of courses online. So you are taking time away from in the class to the MAP Test, " said Turgeon. "All of it takes time and money."

But Turgeon was OK about the idea to get rid of the resource and process standards. 

The State Board rejected the proposal in April, and hopes to reconsider it in August.

Another meeting is planned for the southeastern Missouri school districts in Poplar Bluff in July 22. The State Board of Education will consider the feedbacks at its August meeting.

The complete proposal and meeting arrangement are available on the Department of Elementary & Secondary Education website.