As first reported in a special email to MSTA members on December 13, 2019, the State Board of Education has changed the MSIP6 guidelines for teacher planning time.  The State Board approved new language that would clarify specific recommended planning time for all educators.  Under “Class Size and Assigned Enrollments”, the guideline now states “Adequate self-directed planning time, at least 250 minutes per week, is provided to certificated and licensed educators who provide instruction to students on a full-time basis (prorated as appropriate). Plan time is based on local context and is aligned to best practice guidelines”.

At that time, Dr. Chris Neale, Assistant Commissioner of the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education stated “Supporting Missouri teachers is one of DESE’s primary priorities. When altering the language about the plan time in the Effective Teaching and Learning standard in MSIP 6, DESE’s intention was never to imply that plan time isn’t valuable. The change was made to ensure teachers were given adequate planning and collaboration time for their assigned roles and duties.”

MSTA will continue to work with DESE and the State Board of Education and appreciate their decisive action after early assurances that this issue would be addressed in MSIP standards going forward.  The MSIP standards and indicators are guidelines DESE uses to accredit school districts.  The standards and indicators are based upon practices and procedures when collectively implemented enhances student learning and well-being.  Districts receive an MSIP “score” for each standard and indicator.  If a district doesn’t meet a specific standard or indicator, they lose points from the overall score used to determine accreditation.

MSTA appreciates the advocacy of members after the call to action in the December 11 MSTA Weekly Newsletter.