Superintendent Dr. Lori VanLeer

The Washington School District earned an overall score of 91.1 percent on the state’s standardized achievement tests.

This is well above the 70 percent required to retain state accreditation, said Assistant Superintendent Dr. Judy Straatmann.

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) released its 2013 Missouri School Improvement Program (MSIP) ratings Friday.

Statewide, students showed mixed results on the tests. Data from DESE show the percentage of students scoring proficient or advanced in math declined in 2013, but remained steady in communication arts and improved in science.

The Missouri Assessment Program tests are administered annually.

New System

New this year, the MSIP ratings system gets rid of a 14-point scale and instead judges districts on the percentage earned on a points scale.

Ratings are based on data such as state standardized test scores, attendance, graduation rates and whether students leave ready for college or careers.

Scores are compiled by DESE and are used to determine accreditation.

Any district scoring over 70 percent is considered fully accredited. Provisionally accredited is considered less than 70 percent, while unaccredited is less than 50 percent.

Straatmann explained that since this is the first year of comparing data in this manner, one cannot compare scores to the previous year.

“There are scores for last year in each of these areas, but due to changes in the point accumulation process over the past year, accurate comparisons cannot be made,” she said.

Straatmann said the district earned 87.5 percent of the points possible in the area of academic achievement, and 78.6 percent of the points in subgroup achievement. Subgroups can include special education students, minorities, and students who qualify for free or reduced lunches, among others.

“We also earned 91.7 percent of the points in college and career readiness and 100 percent of the attendance points and graduation points to earn a total of 91.1 percent of the points possible,” she noted.

“I am very pleased with our scores and the work that our students, staff, and parents did to achieve these scores, but we have work to do in the area of academic achievement and subgroup achievement,” Straatmann said. “Teachers will have the opportunity to collaborate in professional learning communities to discuss data and teaching strategies to improve instruction during early release days each week.”

Statewide, the passing rate was 56.6 percent for communication arts and 53.9 percent for math. A passing score is defined by those who scored either proficient or advanced.

In communication arts, the Washington School District had 65.6 percent of students scoring in the top two levels and 62.3 percent in math.

Superintendent Dr. Lori VanLeer said students, parents, staff and the community should be proud of how the district performed.

“I also know that, through our ongoing efforts, we will continue to improve,” VanLeer said. “Education is so very important and it should be valued by our entire community.”