This ongoing document is reviewed and revised based on input from MAESP members. The Executive Committee approves resolutions and provides this framework to support the legislative platform.
MISSION and VISION
Elementary and middle-level principals believe all children should have access to state-of-the-art public schools and be guaranteed educational opportunities that prepare them for college or career. These learning communities must provide a robust foundation for learning that expects each child to reach his or her highest potential, and empower all students to be global citizens who can learn and work together.
School principals are vital to the success of students, staff and parents in Missouri schools and
must be advocates for learning, and leaders for change in a society that depends on knowledge, character, and talent. Principals must possess the wisdom, courage and professional knowledge to ensure every decision reflects the value and importance of each and every child.
MAESP and its members will work collaboratively to problem-solve important issues in support of a free and appropriate public education for all children. (09, 10, 11, 13, 14)
As leaders, principals should work to obtain community resources for developing children’s intellectual and reasoning abilities, as well as personal and social skills beginning at birth through high school graduation. (92, 99, 00, 02, 06, 10, 12, 13, 18)
Parents/guardians should be active participants in their children’s education and elevate the education of their children as a top priority. (91, 94, 13)
Communicating with parents/guardians through parent-teacher-student conferences and involving parents/guardians in the total educational process is critical to the success of a child. (73, 91, 94, 02, 13)
SAFE and ORDERLY SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT
Schools should maintain a school culture that supports all children. (82, 02, 06, 13)
Discipline is a shared responsibility of students, parents/guardians, educators, and the community. Schools should teach self-discipline and work to strengthen existing programs that teach conflict resolution, teamwork, bully prevention, empathy for others and respect for the rights, property, and well-being of others. School principals should advocate for local school board discipline policies that follow due process and are educationally sound. (91, 93, 94, 01, 02, 13, 18)
All schools should implement anti-bullying procedures supported by research that include on-going training for stakeholders to ensure all students are protected from harassment and/or bullying. (11, 13, 15)
Alternatives to retention should be available, but retention should be a local decision made by educators based on each individual student's development and potential, with input from parents or guardians.
(92, 01, 02, 11, 13)
ORGANIZATION and MANAGEMENT
A full-time principal should be employed for each elementary school. Full-time assistant principals should also be employed for schools exceeding 450 students. (88, 91, 98, 02, 13)
Elementary and middle school principals should be active participants in the development and the implementation of all federal, state and local educational restructuring and reformation efforts. Leadership of the building principal must be maintained in all school-based programs. (93, 02, 11, 13)
The building principal should be provided with support staff to adequately meet the supervisory needs of students during the teachers' daily lunch, planning, conference periods and to assist teachers in non-teaching activities. (80, 13)
It is the professional responsibility of every principal to identify, encourage, recruit, and nurture individuals with outstanding talent, leadership, and interpersonal skills to consider the K-8 principalship as a career. (98, 00, 10, 13)
Principals should provide leadership for preserving the safety and welfare of students entrusted to their care during the school day. School districts should develop a plan of action and train principals and other necessary personnel at each site to respond appropriately during a crisis. Individual school sites should have easy access to a trained school resource officer. (91, 98, 99, 00, 02, 10, 13, 14)
School health services provided by a qualified school nurse, a school social worker, a school psychologist, and school counselor are essential to the education of children. School districts should ensure proper health care, including the dispensing of medication, for all children by providing every school with a full-time school nurse, one (1) full-time elementary counselor, and also include social workers and mental health professionals on staff. Schools must cooperate with local health agencies to prevent the spread of seasonal flu outbreaks, hepatitis, develop awareness of health issues including all types of allergies, and other health concerns.
(87, 91, 97, 99, 00, 02, 10, 12, 13)
School districts must take precautions related to the serving of homemade food items to insure the health of all students. Lunch and breakfast menus should reflect recommended nutritional guidelines Pre-K through grade 12. School wellness programs should teach appropriate nutritional habits and include physical activity/education to combat obesity. (89, 91, 99, 06, 10, 11, 13)
Sexual harassment is a form of misconduct that undermines the integrity of the school, and relationships between individuals in the school environment. Principals must provide leadership in assuring that sexual harassment is not tolerated. (94, 02)
Testing practices must be developmentally appropriate, not used indiscriminately, and must not interfere with the individual education process for children.
Statewide student assessments must result in the strengthening of educational programs for children. The use of standardized test scores should never be used as the sole criterion to rate schools or compare school districts, instructional staffs or school leaders.
Test data should be reported in the context of other relevant information (community and school contexts, resource, programs and processes, and outcomes). Any state assessment program should: involve educators in its design and use, including the establishment of criteria that constitutes grade level achievement; be understandable to those who use it; include processes that ensure continuous review and improvement; and address the balance of state-mandated versus local control of curriculum.
Students with Individual Education Plans (IEP's) should be assessed at performance level rather than grade level. Students identified as English language learners should have access to testing accommodations that ensure results have a reasonable chance to accurately measure academic performance. (77, 91, 93, 94, 95, 98, 99, 00, 01, 02, 05, 06, 09, 11, 13, 15)
PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS – Preparation, Certification, Evaluation and Professional Development
Principals should complete an approved graduate program that results in appropriate state certification for the initial certificate. Beyond the initial certificate, MAESP is supportive of high-quality alternatives for renewing the principal license. (80, 99, 13, 18)
Teacher certification should be consolidated with endorsements that would expand teaching areas without additional core courses. (92, 02, 13)
Fully certified professionals should be hired before personnel with alternative certification, as competencies and knowledge of growth, development and learning theory are integral to teaching young children. (92, 02, 13)
Effective preparation programs for teachers and administrators are vital to quality education. Practicing principals should be involved with colleges and universities and assist in determining the content and format of teacher and principal preparation programs. (85, 13)
Principals should be thoroughly prepared in the use of the any teacher evaluation process. (85, 00, 09, 11, 13, 14)
Principals must promote excellence that values collaboration and diversity, and seek knowledge and share best practices through a network of colleagues. Principals are expected to mentor each other, inspire others to follow in a career rich in contributions to all children and society, and celebrate accomplishments together. First and second year principals should be paired with a mentor with like duties and similar job roles. (85, 00, 09, 11, 13, 14)
Principal evaluation should be focused on growth and based on multiple indicators which are valid, reliable, fair, meaningful and comprehensive. Contextual factors such as student, faculty, school, and community demographics as well as principal experience and tenure at a school should also be considered. Any evaluation process or instrument must avoid an over-reliance on standardized test scores. (85, 00, 09, 11, 13)
All principals should be entitled to regularly scheduled performance based evaluation as well as procedural and substantive due process before demotion or dismissal. Legislation should be enacted to provide tenure. (98, 99, 02, 12, 13)
Those supervisors with responsibility for principal evaluation must be thoroughly prepared to evaluate principals. (85, 00, 09, 11, 13, 14, 18)It is the responsibility of local school districts to examine the effectiveness of professional development programs and provide for meaningful, mutually developed, and well-financed professional learning opportunities. (92, 99, 02, 13, 18)
A budget item for supporting the professional growth of principals should be established and maintained as a part of board policy. This budget should cover expenses for professional development, professional organization dues, and used for attendance at local, state, regional, and national meetings. (80, 91, 01, 13, 14)
Opportunities for teacher and principal professional development should be provided during the contracted day and the contractual year and administrators must receive an equitable share of district professional development funds. MAESP will provide creative resources and high quality opportunities for leadership, learning, and networking to assist in the development of effective elementary and middle level school principals. (75, 89, 06, 13, 14)
Non-public early childhood, elementary, and middle school administrators should be welcomed as active members in professional organizations like MAESP. (75, 89, 06, 13, 18)
Elementary principals' salaries should be based on professional preparation, experience, responsibility, performance, and length of contract year. This compensation should exceed the salaries, including career ladder stipends, of those whom the principals supervise. (73, 91, 01, 11, 13)
Every child and youth in our country is entitled to receive a full range of educational services provided by the public school system, and neither the service nor the system should be diluted by diverting public monies to support non-public schools. (82, 91, 98, 09, 11, 13)
Local, state, and federal governments should provide funding that is equitable, adequate and predictably continuous so that educational leaders have the opportunity to plan for the future of our schools. (91, 92, 93, 06, 13)
The state foundation formula should be fully-funded and the state should seek new revenue sources to support education. (91, 96, 02, 06, 10, 12)
Categorical programs such as gifted education, special education, and transportation should be fully-funded. (79, 97, 99, 02)
Missouri’s tax structure that supports public education should be maintained and any tax cut proposals must include protections for public education funding. (14, 18)
There should be additional appropriations in the state budget to support and maintain programs for special at-risk populations. (99, 00, 06, 11, 13, 15)
MAESP supports equitable per pupil expenditure of resources and an equitable teacher-pupil ratio between elementary and secondary students. (74, 99, 13, 18)
MAESP supports increasing the limitations on a school district’s bonded indebtedness and requiring only a simple majority vote to pass local bond issues used for school building construction and renovations. (74, 99, 11, 13, 18)
DESE must be provided sufficient funds to reward and retain competent, qualified individuals to insure a high quality of service to meet the needs of Missouri schools. (86, 13)
CURRICULUM and INSTRUCTION
There should be a common set of high standards for all Missouri students. (13)
All elementary and middle-level principals should provide leadership for early childhood education in schools and communities. School-based early childhood education programs must be funded and made available to all children. (91, 01, 09, 13)
MAESP supports state-funded programs important for meeting the social, emotional, behavioral, and academic needs of all children. (98, 02, 10, 12, 15)
Special programs with minimal restrictive regulations and flexible funding that offer an enriched instructional environment to address learning needs without assigning labels are important tools for Missouri students. (92, 93, 98, 02, 12, 13)
Literacy development should be a primary focus of elementary education to achieve the goal of all students being proficient readers by the end of Grade 3. (92, 99, 00, 13)
A multi-ethnic/multi-cultural/gender equal curriculum should be available to every child. Professional development programs must be provided to school personnel for the preparation and implementation of such curricula. (92, 98, 02, 13)
Students and schools must have appropriate and equitable access to technology tools and other media resources. Safe and responsible use of technology tools and strict compliance with all applicable ethical and legal technology rules and regulations must be taught and enforced for all users. (84, 91, 94, 97, 02, 11, 13)
Local districts must provide for safe playground enclosures that are appropriately and strategically located to minimize student contact with strangers on sidewalks, alleys and street traffic. All building structures and playgrounds, including equipment, should meet safety codes and provide for a safe environment for students and staff. Safety procedures for multiple routine and crisis situations must be developed and communicated to all students, staff, and necessary stakeholders. (92, 01, 09, 13)
School buildings should be available for use by the public and community groups, but buildings must remain accessible for school purposes after hours. Time must be protected for adequate maintenance and cleaning. (97, 09, 13)
All school buildings and classrooms should be constructed/renovated with materials and systems that meet the highest safety standards and include up-to-date climate control, appropriate technology infrastructure, functional classroom space/specialty areas to ensure a safe learning environment. (00, 09, 11, 13, 14)
Federal and state legislation should protect and hold harmless all educators as mandated reporters. (10, 11, 13)
Legislative involvement is necessary to make known our interests, represent our members, and advocate for legislation that provides needed programs in public education for students. (75, 99, 11)
Principals should be the advocates for or against change and ensure that the reform is based on what is best for children. (92, 02, 09, 13)
Educational standards and accountability for home school students, private and public charter school students, and public school students should be the same. Public school monies should only be used for public school programs. (99, 08, 11, 13, 14)
Students enrolled in virtual instructional programs should also be enrolled in a local school district. (08, 11, 13, 18)
Retirement benefits for the career educator, the retired educator and the non-certified employee should be increased. State and federal laws should be enacted so all certified personnel who participate in the Missouri Public School Retirement System (PSRS) continue to be exempt from social security taxes. (92, 98, 09, 11, 13)
MAESP supports continuing the independent governing structure of the Missouri Public School Retirement System (PSRS and PEERS) and opposes any legislation that might compromise the independent nature of the organization or its service to current and retired educators. (18)
Kindergarten needs to be available for all school age children as the first year in school. (79, 91, 93, 96, 10, 11, 13)
Quality early childhood programs for 3- and 4-year-olds should be expanded, funded, and available in all Missouri school districts. (06, 10, 11, 13)
Summer school programs and a longer school year must be provided additional funding to include transportation. Individual school districts should have the authority to establish the starting date for the beginning of school each year. (88, 96, 97, 99, 00, 01, 09, 10, 11, 13)
Legislation and adequate funding to support computer literacy, classroom internet access, and other advanced technology in Missouri’s schools is necessary for full implementation. (84, 91, 94, 97, 02, 11, 13)
The State should provide assistance to provisionally accredited and unaccredited school districts to aid these districts in returning to full accreditation status.
Programs that divert resources from public schools such as vouchers or tuition tax credits must not be authorized or implemented.
Charter schools should not be expanded beyond those currently in existence.
No programs should be mandated without appropriating the necessary funds to successfully implement and sustain the programs.
Local school board authority must be protected and strengthened for making local educational decisions and establishing policies and procedures related to student enrollment, placement, promotion and discipline. Open enrollment for public school students or inter-district school choice should only be implemented with the consent of the affected school districts. (11, 12, 13, 14)