JEFFERSON CITY, Missouri- On their second attempt, Education Commissioner Margie Vandeven was fired today, a move which has drawn support from Missouri Governor Eric Greitens, who just issued the following statement:
“Today, kids, teachers, and families won. The State Board of Education voted for new leadership for our school system. That’s a major step in the right direction as we work to improve public education in Missouri.
We need to: raise teacher pay, support public schools, and help students succeed. We need to make sure that the money Missourians spend on schools gets out of the bureaucracy—and into the classroom.
Our teachers need a raise. If they just got paid at the national average, they’d make nearly $10,000 more a year. Meanwhile, we’ve got more administrators than most of the country, and their pay is rising more than twice as fast as teacher pay. Some make big bucks—more than $250,000 a year—while too many teachers struggle to get by.
And from 2009 to 2015, Missouri fell from 18th to 28th in fourth-grade reading and from 23rd to 32nd in eighth-grade math. According to ACT testing, three out of every four kids who graduate from Missouri high schools aren’t ready for college.
These problems have gone on too long. We’re demanding better. Because our teachers deserve it. Because our students deserve it.
I support public education. We added $64,000,000 in the budget for public schools. More money than ever before is being spent on education. We fully funded the system for the first time in years.
The bureaucrats took your money. Teachers didn’t get a raise. Juniors in high school had the ACT cut.
The bureaucrats had their chance. They failed our kids.
Defenders of the status quo have been nasty. They harass, call names, and intimidate. Many of them have big salaries that they don’t want to lose, and records they don’t want to be held accountable for.
Well, today things have changed: Kids come first.”
Dr. Margie Vandeven was appointed Missouri’s sixth Commissioner of Education by the State Board of Education in December 2014. She assumed her role Jan. 1, 2015.
Dr. Vandeven began her education career in 1990 as a communication arts teacher in O’Fallon. From 1995-2002 she taught high school English and served as an administrator in Maryland, before returning to Missouri as an English teacher and administrator.
Throughout Dr. Vandeven’s tenure with the Department, she has served as a supervisor of the Missouri School Improvement Program (2005-07), Director of School Improvement and Accreditation (2007-08), Director of Accountability Data and Accreditation (2008-10), Assistant Commissioner for the Office of Quality Schools (2010-13), and as Deputy Commissioner of Learning Services (2013-15).
Dr. Vandeven is passionate about ensuring all Missouri students are prepared for post-secondary success after leaving the PK-12 system.
A native of Missouri, Dr. Vandeven earned a bachelor’s degree (1990) in education from Missouri State University and a master’s degree in educational administration and supervision (2003) from Loyola College in Maryland. She received a doctorate of philosophy in educational leadership (2014) from Saint Louis University.
She and her husband, David, reside in Foristell.