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Monday was the first of five statewide meetings designed to get ideas for improving education in Missouri schools. This is the third and final round of meetings of this nature used to gather input from local participants. KSMU’s Theresa Bettmann attended the meeting and has this report.
Springfield is one of the five cities visited by representatives of the Missouri Department of Education. St. Louis, Kansas City, Moberly and Poplar Bluff are the other regions taking part in the education review process. Ron Wilken is an area supervisor for the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. He says that the review process is part of the Missouri School Improvement Program, otherwise known as MSIP.
“Every five years, for the last 20 years, we have what’s called MSIP, that’s how we accredit school districts. And we are changing now and making some higher standards. We are trying to go statewide to get input from people to see what they feel we should be stressing,” said Wilken.
Wilken says that representatives from principal and superintendent groups, teachers, community leaders, parents and students themselves are taking part in these meetings. He says these meetings provide excellent feedback and generate specific recommendations.
“Basically, MSIP looks at three different things. It looks at the process, the things schools do to improve education. And it looks at the resources, the numbers of teachers, librarians, and students sitting in the classroom. So we look at all of these things and hopefully they improve education, and if they’re not, we need to change them. If they are, we need to figure out how to make them better,” Wilken said.
Wilken says all of the input gathered from each of the meetings will be presented to the Missouri State Board of Education in late August or early September. He says that the actions the board will take as a result of the recommendations will take up to two years to fully implement, and school districts to be held accountable. For KSMU News, I’m Theresa Bettmann.