This is not the Center’s first blog post about the Missouri Education Reform Plan nor will it be the last. DESE Commissioner Chris Nicastro came to St. Louis last Friday to speak with the Education Funders Affinity Group about the goal for Missouri to rank in the top 10 in education by 2020. The purpose of the session was to give the Commissioner the opportunity to present the Education Reform Plan to the group and have her engage in conversation with the funders about ways to help move this plan forward.
The education statistics she presented were staggering. For every 100 freshman who enter high school in Missouri only 22 will go on to receive a higher education degree! The below graphic shows the drop off rate at each step of the way.
Source: Missouri Career Guide, 2011
Missouri has a long history of school improvement but unfortunately the progress made is just not enough both in terms of national comparisons and international comparisons. The Commissioner noted that biggest issue that Missouri faced was not a lack of funding but rather complacency.
The Education Reform Plan outlines four main goals for Missouri:
- Goal 1 – All Missouri students will graduate college and career ready.
- Goal 2 – All Missouri children will enter kindergarten prepared to be successful in school.
- Goal 3 – Missouri will prepare, develop and support effective educators.
- Goal 4 – The Department will improve efficiency and operational effectiveness.