Notes from the September 12, 2022 meeting of the Missouri Advisory Council of Certification for Educators Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Ongoing DESE initiatives
Dr. Paul Katnik, Assistant Commissioner of the Office of Educator Quality, updated the Council on several ongoing DESE initiatives.
Blue Ribbon Commission on Teacher Recruitment and Retention
The BRC met on September 12 and will present its final recommendations to the State Board of Education in October. The Commission is tasked with developing recommendations for long-term, sustainable solutions to address teacher recruitment and retention.
The Commission surveyed teachers, administrators, and superintendents to solicit input and held a public hearing in August. Teacher responses to the survey ranked by increasing base salary as an essential priority followed by healthcare benefits, non-traditional benefits (flexible scheduling, student loan reimbursement, housing or childcare stipends) and indicators of quality (additional certifications, degrees). The complete surveys and actions of the Blue Ribbon Commission can be found here.
Teacher Baseline Salary Grants
In Governor Parson’s State of the State Address, he challenged the Legislature to appropriate funds to support increasing the beginning teacher salary to $38,000. The State will provide 70% of districts’ costs to increase base salary, and local districts will incur 30% of those increases. As of July 19, 364 districts have applied for the Baseline Salary Grants. DESE estimates that over 6,200 teachers received a salary increase to $38,000. This is a one-year appropriation by the legislature.
The Missouri Legislature discontinued funding the Career Ladder statute in 2010. The 2023 fiscal budget includes $37.4 million dollars to fund the program, providing additional compensation to teachers for additional duties/certifications. The state will provide 60% of the program cost. Teachers are eligible after completing two years of service and the stipends are spread over three years. DESE is developing guidance and an application process which can be found here.
Modeled after a Tennessee apprenticeship program, this program would allow teacher candidates to receive paid, on-the-job training with an experienced mentor. Guidance is being developed to partner with teacher preparation programs to incorporate paid apprenticeship into teacher training. This is still in the development phase but can be expected in the near future.
Recruitment and Retention Grants
One hundred percent of Missouri community colleges/educator preparation programs and 85% of school districts have received teacher recruitment grants to develop initiatives to recruit and educate candidates through Grow Your Own programs. Ninety-two percent of districts have received grants to support efforts to retain current staff through stipends, professional development, or culture/climate surveys to address working conditions. More information regarding Recruitment and Retention Grants can be found here.
Margery Tanner, Coordinator, Office of Educator Quality, updated the Council on changes to the Substitute Certification requirements.
Senate Bill 681 reduced the required hours from 60 semester hours to 36 and placed the 20-hour online training approved by the State Board into statute. A certificate may now be issued to “any highly qualified individual with expertise in a technical or business field or with expertise in the Armed Forces of the United States…but does not meet any of the qualifications if the superintendent of the school district sponsors the individual and the school board votes to approve the individual to substitute teach.” The new statute requires DESE to collect information from substitute teachers and districts. DESE issued 3,000 substitute certificates in August 2022. Year to date, 10,334 certificates have been issued. (Average number of certificates issued per year is 12,000.) More information regarding substitute certification can be found here.
Educator Preparation Updates
Darryl Fridley, Coordinator, Office of Educator Preparation, updated the Council on Educator Preparation’s response to multiple DESE Initiatives.
Assessments for Educator Prep
Earlier this year, the State Board approved the number of items needed to acquire a qualifying score on the Elementary Education exam. This accepted recommendation only asked the board to acknowledge the change in ranges of qualifying scores and does not aim to lower the standard for teachers in Missouri.
Regarding Educator Prep exams, the MoGEA Exam, which replaced the CBASE, required to become accepted into a teacher education program was removed because DESE could not find any research that recommended the exam. DESE’s goal is to ensure there is a high standard for individuals working toward certification in the profession and they do not feel as though MoGEA does that.
The contract for exams such as the MoGEA and MEGA exams is running out in 2024 so DESE is in the process of writing requests for testing company proposals (either Pearson or ATS). Fridley explained that DESE is looking at aligning these Educator Preparation exams to standards or competencies for teachers as they are not closely tied to any standards at this time. This alignment would create more succinct preparation of Missouri Educators across the state because it would give all Educator Preparation Programs (EPP) standards or competencies to align their curriculum with. MACCE was asked what these standards or competencies should be but there was no official timeline as to when the process of creating these standards or competencies would be.
The Educator Preparation department at DESE is in full support of LETRS training in the state of Missouri. There is an EPP parallel initiative to LETRS training called “Path Forward” and fellows are currently reviewing the standards for this initiative. The purpose behind this is to have teacher candidates and early childhood, including special education, to be familiar with LETRS training and the science of reading. Some EPPs are already using parts of LETRS training to prepare teachers. Those who represent EPPs on MACCE commended Fridley on his work in Literacy in EPPs as it has been a very intentional implementation.
Missouri Teacher Development System
Bobbie Jo Lewis, Coordinator, Missouri Teacher Development System, updated the Council on MTDS activities.
The MTDS is designed to support teacher learning and career development including the educator evaluation systems, Beginning Teacher Assistance Programs, and the Regional Professional Development Centers. There are currently 656 teachers enrolled in MTDS. MTDS also coordinates the Missouri Teacher of the Year program. The 2023 TOY was announced on September 19 and the winner is Christina Andrade Melly from Ritenour High School - English teacher and Ritenour NEA local President. Nominations for 2024 Teacher of the Year open in December.
The next MACCE meeting will be held on December 5, 2022. If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact Samantha Hayes or Rebeka McIntosh at 800-392-0236 or by emailing Samantha.Hayes@mnea.org or Rebeka.McIntosh@mnea.org. Information about MACCE can be found here.