Missouri School Improvement Program (DESE)

2020 MAAE-MSIP Work

The Missouri School Improvement Program (MSIP) has the responsibility of reviewing and accrediting the public school districts in Missouri. The process of accrediting school districts is mandated by state law and by State Board of Education regulation. It has gone through several revisions since its inception, and in February, 2020 the State Board of Education approved the guidelines for MSIP 6. Those may be found here.

The Missouri Alliance for Arts Education, under the leadership of Ben Martin, led an effort to add comments to the document favorable to arts education. After a successful campaign with an amazing response from arts educators, the following items are of exceptional note to arts teachers.

  • the use of the phrase ‘well-rounded’ education has now been included a number of times in the document. Helping ensure the arts are a part, and schools are more than job-training centers.

  • opportunities for teachers being involved in leadership decisions now is designated for ‘all’ curricular areas This means arts educators can claim a seat at the decision-making level.

  • Arts integration-friendly language: “Building leaders and instructional staff work together to design collaborative, cross-curricular learning opportunities for students” AND LATER IN THE DOCUMENT - instructional practices may come from a ‘variety of evidence-based methods.’ Arts integration can now be considered more seriously as an instructional practice

  • Professional development is ensured to be ‘job-embedded and content-appropriate.' This allows arts educators to ask for and receive PD in their area.

  • the use of the terms 'all' or 'inclusive of all educators' ensures arts educators

      1. have access to technology,

      2. can be a part of collaborative teams

      3. have 'adequate collaboration and planning time'

      4. are not excluded from involvement in leadership and decision-making processes, and

      5. the terms 'rigorous curricular standards' also applies to the arts, as it does to all other subject areas.

  • Enrollment in performing arts and physical education class sizes may only exceed limits listed in the document if requirements for ‘safe and effective’ instruction are satisfied. This ensures that certain classes, such as Stagecraft and theatre technology are not overcrowded, creating safe working conditions for students.

  • School districts are expected to ‘develop and conduct reliable local assessments for standards currently not assessed on the MAP. Arts educators need to be sure they are involved locally in determining what ‘reliable’ assessments means.

There's more to do...

MAAE is supportive of initiatives toward the “completion of the requirements for Diploma Seals of Achievement in a variety of subjects.” - specifically an ARTS DIPLOMA SEAL. MAAE is interested in working with DESE to see if this might be possible.

In Missouri, the criteria for a school to be "Accredited" or "Accredited with Distinction" there are no additional fine arts requirements beyond MSIP 5. MAAE is interested in recognizing excellence and promoting best practices in arts education. We are exploring different ways of recognizing schools which provide distinctive and effective instruction in the arts. Continued research is needed

MSIP 6 Changes

When MSIP 6 becomes the prevailing rule in February 2022, the guidelines for minutes of art and music instruction at elementary and middle school/jr. high level are no longer present. MAAE is working with our state arts ed programs to determine DESE and the State Board of Education's position, if a given school or district chooses to reduce or eliminate arts instruction at the elementary and middle school levels. MAAE believes that our best educational choice is maintain - and expand - high quality arts education opportunities for Missouri's students and is an important means to ensure student success.

2012 MAAE MSIP Work

an article written in 2013 by Ben Martin, MAAE executive director - MAAE from 2013-2020

MSIP 5 (2012) and the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

The Missouri Alliance for Arts Education continues to follow the activities of the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education as the state agency proposes significant revisions in the school accreditation system which is part of the Missouri School Improvement Program (MSIP 5). During the past two years, the MAAE has been actively engaged in ensuring music and visual art are included in elementary and middles school MSIP 5 standards as a requirement that school districts must follow. We continue to explore ways to expand the role of theatre and dance in the schools as well.

For more information about the work of the State Board of Education (SBOE) you can visit that page to review reports from the monthly meetings prepared by the executive director of MAAE.

DESE Compliance Plan - ESSA - Alliance Talking Points