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Education in Missouri facts for kids

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Education in Missouri is provided by both public and private schools, colleges, and universities, and a variety of public library systems. All public education in the state is governed by the Missouri State Board of Education, which is made up of eight citizens appointed by the Governor of Missouri and confirmed by the Missouri Senate.


Elementary and secondary education

Administration of primary and secondary public schools in the state is conducted by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Education is compulsory from ages seven to seventeen in Missouri, commonly but not exclusively divided into three tiers: elementary school, middle school or junior high school, and high school. The public schools system includes kindergarten to 12th grade. District territories are often complex in structure. In some cases, elementary, middle and junior high schools of a single district feed into high schools in another district. High school athletics and competitions are governed by the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHAA). Missouri education also includes a virtual school program called Missouri Virtual Instruction Program (MoVIP).

The Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) is an annual set of mandatory standardized tests taken by students in grades 3 through 8. Students also complete exams at the end of completing certain courses, with certain exams required for graduation, including Algebra I (required), Algebra II, American History, Biology (required), English I, English II (required), Geometry, and Government (required). There also is an alternate MAP test designed for students with cognitive disabilities who meet grade level and eligibility criteria, and the state uses the a test designed by the WIDA Consortium to evaluate English language skills.


Homeschooling in Missouri is not regulated by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. The state does not provide any monetary assistance or curriculum or materials to home schoolers. Parents who decide to home-school must provide 1,000 hours of instruction during the school year pursuant to Section 167.031 of the Missouri revised statutes. Parents must also keep a daily log and sample of academic work. Homeschool students frequently attend their local colleges and universities. According to Missouri State University's Enrollment department, homeschool students had higher than average ACT scores and better end-of-semester GPA than their peers.

Charter schools

Charter schools are permitted in metropolitan and urban areas of the state. The state board of education considers them public schools and there are no tuition charges.

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