More than 100 school board members and superintendents gathered in Jefferson City on August 30 to begin a project designed to define the vision for public education in Missouri for the coming years. The “Vision for Missouri Public Education” project is a joint effort of the Missouri School Boards’ Association and the Missouri Association of School Administrators. Its goal is to develop a plan outlining a vision for the state’s public schools by October 2011.
MSBA President Dave Wright told the gathering, “The one thing we will not tolerate is business as usual. We are interested in developing ideas that will literally transform public education in our state.”
Among the speakers at the event was Missouri’s Commissioner of Education Dr. Chris Nicastro who said Missouri ranks in the middle in most measures of student achievement and that needs to improve. She said, ““A clear vision and a few very focused, high-impact goals will be critical to drive the improvement efforts necessary to bring about world-class results.” She also highlighted the critical importance of early childhood education as a key component of any vision for our schools.
Another featured speaker was Dr. Tim Waters of Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning who said a major challenge for education leaders is to reduce the variability in the quality of instruction between schools and school districts.
The board members and administrators involved in the project are divided into seven groups: Teaching, Learning and Assessment; Supports for Early Learning and Student Success; Human and Organizational Capital; Governance, Leadership and Accountability; Climate, Culture and Organizational Efficacy; Financial Resources; and Physical Resources.
The groups will be meeting several times during the next few months to review research and develop recommendations in their focus areas. In addition, a series of community meetings will be held throughout the state in November to get perspectives from patrons, parents, teachers and others.
Information on the progress of the “Vision for Missouri Public Education” project will be posted on this website: www.visionforMOpublicschools.org.