Education in Missouri

The Missouri State Board of Education has general authority over all public education in the state of Missouri. It is made up of eight citizens appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Missouri Senate.

Primary and secondary schools
Education is compulsory from ages seven to sixteen in Missouri, commonly but not exclusively divided into three tiers of primary and secondary education: 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 also introduced a virtual school program called Missouri Virtual Instruction Program (MoVIP).

Testing in Missouri
The Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) is an annual set of mandatory standardized tests taken by students in the US state of Missouri.

State Content Assessments
Grade-Level Assessment – Students in grades 3–8 are tested in communication arts and math. Students in grades 5 and 8 are also tested in Science.

End-of-Course – End-of-Course Assessments are available in Algebra I (required), Algebra II, American History, Biology (required), English I, English II (required), Geometry and Government (required).

State Content Alternate Assessments
MAP-A – There is also the MAP-Alternate (MAP-A) designed for students with cognitive disabilities who meet grade level and eligibility criteria. Communication arts is assessed at grades 3–8 and 11, math is assessed at grades 3–8 and 10 and science is assessed at grades 5, 8 and 11. Missouri does not have a 2% modified assessment.

State ELP Assessment
WIDA ACCESS – In 2010, Missouri became the 23rd state to join the WIDA Consortium. Missouri uses the WIDA ACCESS assessment as its English Language Proficiency assessment. Missouri requires all incoming possible ELL students to use the WIDA W-APT screener.

Colleges and universities
There are a large number of colleges and universities in Missouri. The University of Missouri System is Missouri's statewide public university system. The flagship institution and largest university in the state is the University of Missouri in Columbia. The others in the system are University of Missouri–St. Louis, University of Missouri–Kansas City and Missouri University of Science and Technology.

Notable private institutions of higher learning in Missouri include Saint Louis University, Washington University in St. Louis, and Rockhurst University in Kansas City.

In 1905, the state established a series of normal schools to teach "teaching norms" at colleges in each region of the state. The initial network consisted of Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, Missouri State University (formerly Southwest Missouri State University) in Springfield, Truman State University (formerly Northeast Missouri State University) in Kirksville, Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville and University of Central Missouri (formerly Central Missouri State University) in Warrensburg. There are numerous junior colleges, trade schools, church universities and private universities.

Financial aid
The state funds a $2000, renewable merit-based scholarship, Bright Flight, given to the top 3% of Missouri High School graduates who attend a university in-state.