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      Education advocacy group gives Missouri low marks

      A new report released from an education advocacy group grades Missouri policies critically low.

      The report released today by StudentsFirst gives Missouri a D-minus overall.

      The report suggests requiring school districts to make teacher effectiveness the driving factor in decisions about pay, tenure and layoffs.

      It also urges state government to improve the selectiveness and quality of alternative certification options as well as urges development of a system for grading schools annually on an A-through-F scale. The scale would be based upon student performance, and suggests requiring parental consent before children are assigned to a teacher rated as ineffective.

      In addition, the report also calls for allowing mayoral control of low-performing districts.

      ---Information from AP wires---