As the summer continues to race by, it is only natural for school leaders to direct more and more of their attention to the upcoming school year. In Missouri, transportation reimbursement is increased, the funding of career ladder is returning, and we have received a new draft of the MSIP-6 Comprehensive Guide.

This updated guide is still considered a draft and will be evident as you read through it. DESE has made significant changes to parts of the guide, but the updates may not be consistent throughout the guide. In some cases, this can be confusing, but such is the nature of a draft document.

In this post, I will highlight some of the changes and clarifications that DESE made in the updated guide and give a few recommendations as to what next steps a district might undertake.

We will have additional information about MSIP-6 and our CSIP planning document at the NEE Superintendent Updates in the fall. If you are interested in attending, please register for one of the following sessions:

Changes and Clarifications

First, let’s review the changes. The following table and graphs summarize DESE’s updates to the MSIP-6 points allocation. DESE maintained the weight of the performance score (70%) and continuous improvement score (30%) and changed the total point value from 100 points to 200 points (in most cases, DESE simply doubled the points for each component).

Table showing previous points and percentages of MSIP-6 Performance and Continuous Improvement scores, compared to the updated points and percentages for each category.
Pie graph showing points allocation for each component of the Performance Score as part of MSIP-6
Pie graph showing points allocation for each component of the Continuous Improvement Score as part of MSIP-6

Next, let’s talk more in depth about some of these changes in the new draft.

  • Academic growth and progress measures put emphasis on 3rd-8th grade MAP: One of the more significant tweaks to the points allocation involves changes to the academic growth and progress measures within the performance score. DESE has changed the overall weight for these growth and progress points from 20% to 24% of the MSIP-6 points. That is not very earth-shattering on its own. However, within the growth and progress point calculations, DESE has increased the weight for ELA and Math growth and progress calculations from a combined 8% to 14% of the MSIP-6 points. Most of that weight comes from the growth calculations for 3rd-8th grade MAP assessments, which means there is more emphasis on students in elementary and middle grades.

    It is interesting to see the importance that DESE is placing on individual student growth and, reading between the lines a little, the importance DESE is placing on interventions for struggling students. Pair that with the Success Ready Student calculations that are part of MSIP-6, we can see districts should be considering what they can do to encourage student growth as part of high school readiness throughout the elementary and middle school years. 
  • 2021 MAP data used for baseline growth and progress calculations: Additionally, DESE has clarified that 2021 MAP data will be used as a baseline for growth and progress calculations. In the earlier draft of the MSIP guide, DESE used three years of data and rolling averages to calculate progress scores. Now it is strictly a 2022 comparison to 2021 scores.
  • Referring to historically underperforming subgroups as “HUSG”: If you are reading the MSIP-6 Comprehensive Guide and come across “HUSG” in the text and are a little confused, know that DESE has changed the manner they refer to the historically underperforming subgroups. Now, instead of referring to these students as “student groups,” DESE is referring to them as HUSG (historically underperforming student groups). Once you get used to it, this change makes the text easier to read and understand.
  • Extending the range for below basic: As mentioned in my prior post on MSIP-6, DESE has extended the range for the below basic achievement level from 1.0-1.99 to 1.00-2.99. Using the full range of scores between 1-3 seems like a fairer way to consider the below basic scores.
  • Moving from rounded scores to truncated scores: Also in their status calculations, DESE switched from using rounded scores to truncated scores. So instead of rounding to the nearest tenth or hundredth, the place values are simply dropped. There’s little effect from this change, but it does keep upper scores in an achievement level from rounding up to a score in the next achievement level. (For example, a score of 2.9783 would not round up to 3.0 and would instead be truncated at 2.9.)


Before coming to work for NEE, I worked as an assistant superintendent, and one of my duties included MSIP compliance. As I read through DESE’s guide to MSIP-6, several thoughts go through my mind about what I would encourage districts to do. I have listed recommendations below that might be considerations for districts. Every district is unique, so be sure and read through DESE’s MSIP guide, read any additional information provided by DESE, and review your district’s data before making any final decisions.

Also, remember we are still reviewing draft information from DESE. Districts would be wise to proceed carefully and be prepared to revise as they proceed. The recommendations have a “hurry up and wait” feel to them as we try to plan while waiting for additional information. Even though everything is in draft form, districts can begin to proceed with caution with some initial planning. Review the following recommendations and considerations for moving forward.

  1. NEE Data Tool – With the emphasis placed on student growth, districts will want to review their instructional programs to evaluate their effectiveness and revise as necessary.

    Regardless of which programs and interventions are in place, the effects pale to the effect of teachers on student achievement and growth. Common sense will show that the best programs a district can find will likely fail without effective teachers.

    A review of the Indicator Trend Report in the NEE Data Tool can help school leaders visualize how teachers are addressing each focus indicator and determine areas for additional professional development.

    Similarly, a review of effective feedback conferences, including the feedback path that matches the needs of each teacher, can help administrators provide teachers with specific feedback that leads to improved implementation of instructional strategies.

    Time spent improving administrator feedback practices can help teachers with instruction that addresses individual growth, which will have an effect on MSIP-6 scores in the area of Achievement Growth and Progress.
  1. Unit of Instruction (UOI) Element 5b – The emphasis on student growth underscores the real goal of all educators: to guide their students from Point A to Point B in their learning.  Teachers want their effect on students to help them advance in their knowledge and ability to use that knowledge as they participate in their class.

    The Unit of Instruction is one of the tools NEE offers to aid in this goal. Specifically, Element 5b of the UOI organizer, while not scored, was added to assist school districts in documenting student growth that occurs as a result of instruction. 

    Element 5b allows teachers to document student growth over the course of a chosen unit by listing their unit assessments and the percentage of students meeting the target for each assessment.  This can clearly show the effect of instruction on growth over the course of a unit and helps teachers visualize their effect on growth. 

    It is easy to make a connection between the student growth components of MSIP-6 and UOI Element 5b. NEE would encourage districts to use the UOI as a tool for growth and to specifically connect the UOI Element 5b measure of growth to MSIP-6 measure of growth to help more fully develop the growth mindset with teachers and students. 
  1. CSIP Initial Planning – While DESE did make a few changes to the continuous improvement score, the CSIP planning and development process retains a weight of 24% of the overall score for MSIP-6.

    The 2022 APR will only contain a score for the Performance section of MSIP-6, so any score given in this first year for the CSIP process will not initially count for APR. However, this score will likely count within the next three years, and DESE has provided us with quite a bit of information about CSIP expectations. It is a good starting point for districts as they move forward with planning.

    Districts will likely want to revise their current CSIP to address new requirements. The MSIP-6 rubrics contain many references to a collaborative plan based on district data in creating the CSIP. Districts should begin planning to include as many stakeholders as possible: board members; teachers; support staff; students; parents; local business and industry representatives; charitable, non-profit, or cultural organizations representatives; and other community members. Districts should also begin thinking about what data they will use for CSIP planning. Examples include quantitative and qualitative data; internal and external data; needs assessment data; and any other relevant data sources, including NEE Data Tool reports.

    NEE is preparing a guide to the CSIP process that districts can use for this planning. This guide will explain the process for reviewing all the district data to prioritize needs, set goals, and create an action plan. It will be a great framework for districts interested in using the CSIP process to create a cycle of improvement. The guide will be released in the early fall. More information will be provided at our superintendent updates on August 30 and September 22.
  2. CSIP Board of Education Updates – The CSIP rubric places importance on the board of education receiving regular updates and being engaged with the CSIP. Districts should begin planning for these updates as an agenda item in the upcoming school year, at least quarterly. Monthly updates would be even better.

    It also would be good to begin discussing the importance of the CSIP in your district as an overarching guidance plan that is utilized in any activity in which the district is involved. The CSIP rubric specifically mentions the budget process, but it is clear the intent is that the CSIP is reflected in all activities within the district.
  1. Student Well-being – One of the considerations on the CSIP rubric is how the district addresses the well-being of students and what social-emotional supports are available. It would be good to review what is in place currently and what community resources are available to consider during CSIP planning. The following EdHub modules are possible resources for this purpose: Supporting Emotional Health in the Classroom, Promoting Social Competence for All Students, Culturally Responsive Teaching, and Classroom, School and Community Culture modules. School leaders might also review the NEE resource on Evaluating Social-Emotional Learning.
  1. Building Improvement Plans – The guide to MSIP-6 references building improvement plans in various places. If your district does not require building plans, you should consider doing so in the future. Districts that have these in place will want to ensure the building plans follow a similar format to the district plan and allow buildings to show how they are addressing the district CSIP goals and any specific building needs.
  1. Other plans align to CSIP – Districts should require that once the CSIP is created, all other plans will align to the CSIP.
  2. Continuous Improvement Self-Study Guidance Document – Review Appendix H of the MSIP-6 guide and consider who might be the right person(s) to begin sketching out preliminary thoughts for these one-page documents. This may not be the final version of what districts will be asked to write, but it might be helpful to begin listing items to be included in each one-page document. Consider making these working documents during the school year to be completed at the end of the year when districts are asked to complete their CSIPs and this information.
  3. Be alert for the release of additional information – Additional information will be provided by DESE over the coming months. It would be helpful for districts to watch for the release of the following:
  • The “cut scores” for each achievement level for each MAP/EOC.
  • Academic status targets for the four tested areas.
  • The Success Ready Climate and Culture Essential Questions, which will eventually be included in Appendix I.
  • “Status cutoffs” scores for each status level for both methods for TL1J under Success Ready Student Performance Calculations.
  • The final version of the MSIP-6 Comprehensive Guide.

Enjoy the rest of your summer and keep an eye on the NEE Advantage blog for additional updates about MSIP-6 and posts about other important topics.

Chuck Mayes is a NEE trainer and field support representative. He retired in 2020 after 30 years in K-12 public education where he served as a teacher, elementary principal, middle school principal, and for eight years as the Sikeston Chief Academic Officer/Assistant Superintendent working with curriculum, assessment, gifted education, and virtual learning.

The Network for Educator Effectiveness (NEE) is a simple yet powerful comprehensive system for educator evaluation that helps educators grow, students learn, and schools improve. Developed by preK-12 practitioners and experts at the University of Missouri, NEE brings together classroom observation, student feedback, teacher curriculum planning, and professional development as measures of effectiveness in a secure online portal designed to promote educator growth and development.