Demonstration Project

Progress Update for Meaningful Assessments, Accountability in Missouri Public Education

Jan. 30, 2024

The Success-Ready Students Network (SRSN) presented a progress report this week to state officials, updating the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education on its work to create a more meaningful state assessment and support transparency and accountability for school districts in support of student academic growth and success.

The SRSN includes 94 of Missouri’s 559 local education agencies, including public schools and public charter schools. It also represents nearly half of all K-12 students and teachers in Missouri public schools. In August 2023, the Missouri State Board of Education approved a proposal for 20 school districts to receive a three-year waiver from select state requirements. This waiver allows the network to work with DESE to create a more meaningful, effective system to assess student academic growth and ensure that schools and districts are preparing children for success in college, career and the workplace.

Districts participating in the waiver are piloting alternative assessments that students take multiple times during the school year. These assessments provide real-time feedback throughout the school year that helps students set academic growth goals and teachers personalize instruction. This pilot will help design an assessment that will ultimately replace the current state MAP test.

The waiver timeline includes several key dates and progress points, with a final report due to DESE by Sept. 30, 2024. The final report will include identified measures and metrics for student academic growth, established reporting methods for sharing student and district data, and a finalized methodology for combining these metrics into an overall system to evaluate and classify schools and school districts. The report shared on Jan. 30 details the progress that is being made toward each of these key goals.

About the waiver

Key goals for the three-year waiver include:

  • A redesigned, meaningful state assessment system that supports students and teachers in the learning process and meets federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requirements;

  • Development of transparent online data dashboards that promote district accountability to stakeholders;

  • Development of a system to evaluate schools and districts that supports students engaging in real-world learning, mastering important knowledge, skills and dispositions they need to be high school, college, career and workplace ready; and,

  • A criterion-based classification system that supports local and regional collaboration on high school, college, career and workplace readiness.

About the Success-Ready Students Network

The Success-Ready Students Workgroup was commissioned by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in 2022, and this group’s recommendations led to the creation of the Success-Ready Students Network, which has been working in collaboration with DESE to create the Demonstration Project that was presented to the state board in June 2023. The Demonstration Project includes a School Innovation Waiver request under Missouri Revised Statutes, Chapter 161.214, and is based on the Missouri definition for competency-based learning, to create a model and approach that can ultimately benefit students throughout the state.

  • The Success-Ready Students Network is a diverse group of 94 Missouri school districts and public charters, four universities and 14 state and regional education organizations, working in collaboration with the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

  • Together, they are designing a better way for each student to engage in meaningful learning, demonstrate individual growth and prepare for future success.

  • School districts in the network serve approximately 50 percent of all Missouri students in grades K-12.

  • This work has been made possible thanks to financial support from the E.M. Kauffman Foundation and the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). Funding from DESE includes awarding of a Competency-Based Education grant.

  • For more information about the Success-Ready Students Network, please visit

What is a System Design Zone?

  • System Design Zone districts in the Success-Ready Students Network have been recognized as leaders in the state of Missouri.

  • System Design Zone 1 districts are leading the work and include Affton, Branson, Center, Confluence Academy, Fayette, Lebanon, Lee’s Summit, Lewis County, Liberty, Lindbergh, Lonedell, Mehlville, Neosho, Ozark, Parkway, Pattonville, Raymore-Peculiar, Ritenour, Ste. Genevieve and Shell Knob.