CONTACT: Michele Clark
Vol. 44, Number 60
July 30, 2010
More Students Excel in Statewide MAP Tests
Preliminary MAP scores are in, and state officials are pleased with across-the-board academic gains made by students this year.
Results released today by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education show a higher percentage of students scoring at proficient or advanced levels in all subjects tested through the Missouri Assessment Program.
2010 Missouri Assessment Program
Percentage of students achieving level of "proficient" or "advanced" proficiency
Last spring, nearly 406,000 students in grades 3-8 took the mandatory MAP tests in English and mathematics. Nearly 135,000 students in grades 5 and 8 also took a science test.
Statewide, the proportion of elementary and middle school students achieving proficiency or advanced levels rose in all subjects over the previous year. While English and science scores improved significantly, the largest gains were in mathematics, officials say.
Students proficient in math rose over the previous year by 3.9 percentage points in grades 3-5 and by 4.4 percentage points in grades 6-8.
Math scores also were up at the high school level. More than 67,000 high school students took the Algebra I end-of-course exam, and the percentage of students demonstrating proficiency or advanced improved by 4.6 percentage points, to 57.3 percent.
In English, proficiency levels rose by 3.3 percentage points in grades 3-5 and by 1.8 percentage points in grades 6-8. High school students nudged the bar in English II by 0.6 percentage points.
Commissioner of Education Chris L. Nicastro credits the growth in all subjects to the hard work of teachers and administrators across the state.
“Overall, it is clear that our schools and districts are taking achievement seriously, and working hard to improve student performance across the board,” Nicastro said. “It’s also clear that until every child is at ‘proficient’ or above, we can’t stop working.”
As with every state, the number of Missouri schools not meeting the rising federal “adequate yearly progress” or AYP targets continues to increase. The number of schools identified for needing improvement grew to 604 in 2010, compared to 495 in 2009.
Next month, the preliminary MAP scores will be finalized and become a part of the state’s 2010 Annual Performance Report. The APR provides a progress report on how each school district is doing, as measured by the 14 academic performance standards that are the cornerstone of Missouri’s accreditation requirements for public schools.
Nicastro said the APR is a valuable yardstick for school leaders, parents and the community to assess school quality and student progress. The multiple standards cover measures such as test scores (state-required MAP and end-of-course tests), attendance and graduation rates, ACT test scores, and other academic indicators.
The department will issue the Annual Performance Report in September.