CONTACT: Sarah Potter
Vol. 46, No. 59
August 14, 2012
Missouri Students Show Continued Improvement on Annual Assessments
MAP scores show gains in math and communication arts
Missouri student achievement continues to rise as evidenced by the Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) testing, state education officials said today.
Test results for 2011-2012 released by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education show the overall percentages of students scoring at the "proficient" or "advanced" levels continued their steady increase in scores. Students improved from 54.6 to 55 percent proficient or advanced in Communication Arts and from 54.3 to 55 percent in Math.
Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) Test Results
In addition, especially notable gains were made by English language learners and Hispanic students in Communication Arts and Math.
"We are pleased with the progress students and schools are making," said Commissioner of Education Chris L. Nicastro. “We know our kids can perform at higher levels. With continued effort, we can and will reach the top 10 performing states in education by 2020.”
Preparing students for life after high school graduation is goal number one of the state’s Top 10 by 20 plan. The plan calls for all Missouri students to graduate college- and career-ready.
“All kids must graduate twice – from high school and something else,” Nicastro said.
Nearly 600,000 students took MAP tests last spring in Communication Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies. MAP tests are administered annually at all public schools in Missouri.
Optional End-of-Course (EOC) tests were also given in English I, Algebra II, Geometry and American History. Beginning with the graduating class of 2016, those tests — with the exception of Algebra II — will be required, as well as End-of-High-School English and Math tests. Three out of four of these optional EOC tests showed large gains in percent proficient and advanced for 2011-2012.
Beginning this year, the Department will not be using MAP test scores to determine a school's Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) report, as previously required by the federal No Child Left Behind Act. In June, Missouri received a waiver that allows the state to use its own accountability system to more effectively identify and assist struggling schools and recognize schools achieving exemplary results. The Missouri School Improvement Program or MSIP will identify and support schools that are struggling.
The MAP test scores and other performance measures are used to develop each school district's Annual Performance Report (APR). The APR provides an update on how districts are meeting state standards in 14 areas, which are the foundation for Missouri’s accreditation requirements for public schools. In addition to the test scores, attendance, graduation rates, ACT test scores and other indicators are used to determine each district's APR.
A K-12 school district must meet at least nine of the 14 accreditation standards to be fully accredited and at least six to be provisionally accredited. A K-8 school district must meet at least five of the seven accreditation standards to be fully accredited and at least four to be provisionally accredited.
"Missouri schools should be pleased that so many of them are meeting the high standards of the fourth cycle of the Missouri School Improvement Program," Nicastro said. "We look forward to partnering in districts’ efforts on MSIP 5. Missouri children deserve the best.”
During the transition from 4th Cycle to MSIP 5, the Department will not designate districts with Distinction in Performance.
School districts received this year’s MAP test data and APR information a month earlier than ever before. School districts will use this information to inform them about their current performance and set their goals for the 2012-2013 school year.
MAP test scores and APR information are available through the Department's web-based Missouri Comprehensive Data System (MCDS) at www.mcds.dese.mo.gov.