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Feds OK Missouri plan for school improvement

By Adam Allington, KWMU

St. Louis – The U.S. Department of Education has approved Missouri's plan for increasing the percentage of public school teachers who are "highly qualified" under federal law.

The government's decision resolves a disagreement that started last summer when Missouri failed to submit adequate information about teachers working in public schools.

Jim Morris is a spokesman for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

"We were getting bashed because the stories were that Missouri had all of these quote- 'unqualified teachers.'"

Morris said the accusations weren't true.

To be deemed "highly qualified" under the No Child Left Behind law, a teacher must have a bachelor's degree and state certification for each subject he or she teaches.

To show compliance, Missouri had to collect data on over 16,000 veteran teachers.

That data showed that 96 percent of Missouri's Public School teachers met the federal benchmark.


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