While No Child Left Behind may be a thing of the past very quickly, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) still seeks evaluations each year of all of the public schools under its umbrella. This evaluation, the Missouri School Improvement Plan (MSIP) is now entering into its fifth cycle. This cycle, and how it affects our schools, is coming into light with the draft editions of the MSIP 5 released recently.
What is MSIP?
The MSIP began in 1990 with cycle one. In each cycle, the evaluation process has evolved with the times. The first cycle ran from 1990-1996, the second cycle ran from 1996-2001, the third cycle ran from 2006-2012, and the fifth cycle takes effect this school year (2012-13).
MSIP is the state’s evaluation tool for each of its public schools. Annual Performance Reports (APR) are generated for each of these schools. Each school is also expected to maintain a Comprehensive School Improvement Plan (CSIP) as well. The guidelines of the MSIP 5 will not be used for classification purposes until 2015, but the schools are still being graded according to these new standards.
“MSIP is the state’s school accountability system,” said Chris Nicostro, Education Commissioner for the State of Missouri. “It sets expectations for public education and improvement in our schools.”
In the statement released by Nicostro through the DESE website, Nicostro explains that more than 80 percent of districts in the State met 13 of the 14 standards in the MSIP’s fourth cycle. However, in that same time, only 55 percent of Missouri students were judged proficient on MAP tests in English and Mathematics in 2012.
“MSIP 5 is focused on helping all kids prepare for life after high school graduation,” explained Nicostro. “While graduation from high school is important, it is no longer sufficient. All students must graduate twice, leaving high school prepared to go on to two-year, your-year or advanced technical training.”
What has changed about the MSIP?
The MSIP 5 added language mandating physical activity and virtual education. Other changes included:
- Flexibility for Districts to combine classes due to size (i.e. combining Spanish 2-3 and French 3-4)
- Included qualifiers for P.E. classes with enrollment up to 45 students to address proper supervision
- Updates ratios for Administrators to Teachers and Teachers to Students