(From the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education)
As Missouri continues its work to prepare effective educators, the State Board of Education voted to approve initial qualifying scores for the Missouri Content Assessments during Thursday's State Board of Education meeting.
Educator candidates must pass a Missouri Content Assessment to earn certification for each subject they want to teach. These exams measure the content knowledge necessary for teachers, librarians, principals and administrators. They replaced the Praxis tests in September.
Missouri educators in each content area recommended what prospective teachers needed to know in order to teach a particular subject.
"Producing well-prepared and effective educators is a goal we all share, and one which the Missouri Department of Higher Education wholeheartedly supports," said Rusty Monhollon, assistant commissioner for academic affairs with the Missouri Department of Higher Education. "We will continue to work closely with our K-12 colleagues in pursuit of this goal."
The vote was unanimous to set scores for the 56 exams at the panel-based cut score <http://goo.gl/uNzuSj>. The scores were set based on:
. Item validation and standard setting panels made up of Missouri educators
. Recommendations from the Missouri Advisory Council for the Certification of Educators (MACCE) and the Missouri Advisory Committee for Educator Preparation (MABEP)
. Initial impact data gathered from the first two months of testing
The Department recommended that the scores be revisited by the State Board in August 2015 when additional impact data will be available.
"Setting the initial qualifying scores was a collaborative effort among many in education from around Missouri," said Paul Katnik, assistant commissioner in the Office of Educator Quality. "We will continue to monitor data to ensure we are developing and preparing effective educators."
Moberly Superintendent Gena McCluskey added: "Teachers face new and unique challenges on a daily basis and they hold themselves to the highest standard because they know the importance they play in positive outcomes for all Missouri students."
The Missouri Content Assessments are a portion of the Missouri Educator Gateway Assessments (MEGA), a comprehensive approach to assess the pre-professional development of students working for educator certification in Missouri. These assessments provide a common, statewide foundation of content knowledge, professional practice and what it takes to be an effective educator and are aligned with state standards.
"There is no doubt Missouri is moving toward more rigorous criteria en route to professionalizing our educational system," said David Hough, Ph.D, Dean of the college of Education at Missouri State University. "Future educators in our state must demonstrate personal attributes, pedagogical skills and subject knowledge at very high levels to ensure our teacher workforce is among the most highly qualified in the nation and world."
Preparing, developing and supporting effective educators is a primary goal of the Department's Top 10 by 20 initiative, which calls for education in Missouri to rank among the top 10 states by 2020.
More information about educator preparation in Missouri can be found at http://dese.mo.gov/educator-quality/educator-preparation