The Senate Educated Citizenry 2020 Committee was charged with developing a long-term strategy and plan for an education system that ensures every Missouri child access to quality education and support for stay-at-home parents; studying the development of the state’s elementary, secondary, and higher education system and designing a system to better prepare graduates for global competition; and examining other aspects of education that the committee deemed appropriate for creating an educated citizenry in Missouri.
Those that served on the committee included Chairman Sen. David Pearce (R-Warrensburg), Sen. Jane Cunningham (R-Chesterfield), Sen. Joseph Keaveny (D-St. Louis), Sen. Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia), Sen. Wes Shoemyer (D-Clarence), and Sen. Wright-Jones (D-St. Louis).
Committee members based their recommendations around five major themes:
Access – Allow all students the opportunity to attend a fully accredited school, and promote the use of technology in the delivery of education at all levels.
Accountability – Hold all public schools accountable to high academic standards, provide access to high-quality charter schools to all Missouri students, and promote alternatives to the traditional school day and calendar year.
Teacher quality – Develop a statewide system for evaluating teacher effectiveness to be used in performance-based and market-driven teacher compensation.
School readiness – Provide parents and early childhood educators with the information they need to see that all children enter kindergarten on par with their peers, and advance efforts to support voluntary, universal prekindergarten.
Governance – Require new legislators to attend a seminar on the K-12 foundation formula, require Missouri’s leaders in statewide education governance to hold an annual public meeting to discuss education initiatives and progress toward achieving the 2020 benchmarks, maximize efficient use of school district resources, encourage collaboration between school districts and higher education institutions, and create a state-level education governance system that spans from prekindergarten through postsecondary education.