DESE shifts focus to MSIP6

DESE shifts focus to MSIP6

- in Features, Grumpy Educators

According to Edweek, DESE has joined several other states who have postponed their submission of their State Consolidated Plan until the September 2017 deadline. Hopefully this means that the public will have a chance to see and comment on the actual plan before it is submitted to the US Secretary of Education. In the mean time DESE will begin work on revisions to the Missouri School Improvement Program (MSIP6).

Many administrators in Missouri recall that the revision process for MSIP5 (in 2012) was the first time the state unilaterally changed MSIP without traditional input from local education agencies. This was done because the Governor and Commissioner had made so many promises already in order to qualify for both ARRA funds (which brought us Common Core and an exponentially expanded state longitudinal data system) and a waiver from NCLB requirements (which confirmed our acceptance of Common Core and participation in SBAC.) It appeared that we were headed for a similar revision process here in 2017 if DESE went ahead and submitted our state plan without input from the LEAs. They would have no choice but to insist that MSIP6 align with whatever was in the Plan and the local districts would just have to go along with it.

It is still a work of fiction to claim that ESSA turned control back over to the states. Just look at the Guidance Document that came out of the USDED in January to see all of the specifics the states are required to “report” to the US Secretary. State Consolidated Plans (SCPs) must address these areas.

1. Long-Term Goals
2. Consultation and Performance Management
3. Academic Assessments
4. Accountability, Support, and Improvement for Schools
5. Supporting Excellent Educators
6. Supporting All Student

To guide states as to what must be in the SCP, this phrase is used repeatedly throughout the guidance document, “Does the state identify its ambitious State-designed long-term goal and measurements” for X? The word “uniform” is also used repeatedly. It is not sufficient for the state just to have a plan to address any of these issues in order to receive federal Title I and Title II monies, it must be “ambitious” and “long-term.” Therefore it would seem critical that LEAs have serious input into whatever “ambitious” and long-term” plan the state develops since they will be required to implement the policies, procedures, standards, and assessments of the plan at primarily their own expense. The word uniform implies that even districts not deemed “low performing” would have to implement all elements of the plan if they had some sub-population described by the plan enrolled in the district[…]

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