Proposal would make Mo. districts responsible for college success, too

Monday, March 28, 2011

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Missouri is proposing sweeping accreditation changes that would add a series of new tests and require districts to better monitor how their graduates fare in college.

The state would no longer take into account such things as the ratios of students to teachers, administrators and counselors and whether districts offer certain courses such as art and physical education. Instead, the newest version of the Missouri School Improvement Program would focus solely on how students perform academically.

Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education spokeswoman Michele Clark says the direction the state is heading is "really exciting."

But the changes have prompted a range of concerns, including the fear that ratios of students to staff would rise and that art and music will be overlooked because meeting certain staffing ratios and teaching certain classes is only a guideline.

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