Great Public Schools Criteria for MissouriGreat Public Schools Criteria refers to the seven elements needed for closing the achievement gaps and raising achievement for all students. The seven elements are: (1) readiness to learn, (2) high expectations, (3) quality conditions, (4) qualified staff, (5) accountability, (6) parental involvement, and (7) funding.
Read more below about the Great Public Schools Criteria in Missouri.
Readiness to Learn
The Early Childhood Development Education and Care Fund, pursuant to section 313.835, was created to give parents meaningful choices and assistance in choosing the child care and education arrangements that are appropriate for their family. "The fund shall be used to support programs that prepare children prior to the age in which they are eligible to enroll in kindergarten, pursuant to section 160.053, RSMo, to enter school ready to learn. All moneys deposited in the early childhood development, education, and care fund shall be annually appropriated for voluntary, early childhood development, education and care programs..." The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has designated their portion of the fund to promote high quality early care and education programs for children ages three and four. The Missouri Preschool Project (MPP) funds will be provided to programs through a competitive Invitation for Bid (IFB) process.
The Missouri Pre-K Literacy Standards are the collaborative effort of a broad-based group of individuals who represent the many facets of the early childhood community in Missouri. This committee drew upon current research and consulted other national and state initiatives for recommendations. In addition, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Department of Health, Department of Social and Senior Services, the Missouri State Head Start Collaboration Office, the Parents as Teachers National Center, and the Project Construct National Center contributed to this work under the leadership of the Early Childhood section of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Diane E. Paynter from Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL) reviewed the Standards.
Why is it important to have standards for early literacy? In Missouri, the Outstanding Schools Act of 1993 called together a group of master teachers, parents, and policy makers from around the state. The Show-Me Standards were the result of that group's work. Those standards are designed for students in kindergarten through grade 12 and serve to ensure that graduates of Missouri's public schools have the knowledge, skills, and competencies to lead productive, fulfilling, and successful lives.
The Missouri Pre-K Literacy Standards describe what most children should know and be able to do in the area of literacy by the time they enter kindergarten. They represent a shared set of expectations for preschool children, expectations developed by drawing upon current research about how young children learn. It is important to keep in mind, however, that children learn and develop in their own unique ways. While research demonstrates that these standards are appropriate for most children who are about to enter kindergarten, our responsibility as educators is to assess where each child is on the literacy continuum and build on what that child knows and can do.
- State Policy: A definition of the minimum number of hours for full-day kindergarten is not specified in Missouri state statutes. Districts are not required to offer full-day kindergarten and children are not required to attend. Missouri provides the same level of funding for grades K-12.
- Definition, District Offering and Pupil Attendance: Missouri requires districts to offer 147 days/577 hours of kindergarten per year as compared to 147days/1044 hours per year in grades 1-12.
(Education Commission of the States [ECS] Kindergarten Database, 2007)
NEA Grant to Close Achievement Gaps
Missouri NEA plans to use its NEA Grant to Close Achievement Gaps to continue to work with Wellston Middle School, including the administration of NEA's KEYS 2.0 (Keys to Excellence in Your School) survey, make a documentary on how Wellston is using Professional Learning Communities to close the gaps, and distribute the documentary statewide.