Warren County R-III school officials presented a detailed report on the district’s annual Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) scores to the board of education at the September monthly meeting.
Administrators said there were impressive gains in the past year mixed with data showing specific areas that need improvement to move the district up in state rankings.
In presenting the data, Assistant Superintendent Gregg Klinginsmith characterized the district’s overall performance as “successful, with still some work to do.
“We had 16 out of 22 tested (subject) areas that improved over last year, and 11 out of these 22 areas were at the highest levels ever for the school,” Klinginsmith told the board. “Nine out of 12 cohort groups (classes by year) improved, and eight of these cohort groups had their highest ever scores,” he said.
Late in the summer, Missouri’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) released the latest results of the standardized test scores, creating a lot of conversation throughout the state as schools received a class-by-class evaluation of how well students learned their subjects, and how these scores stack up against other schools in the region and throughout the state.
Klinginsmith told the board that a key goal is to be above the state average.
“In 2012, our MAP scores put us 381 out of 521 schools in the state,” he said. That ranking compared to 408 out of 521 schools in 2011, a gain of 27 positions.
“Warren County had the 144th best improvement in the state,” Klinginsmith told the board.
When comparing R-III scores to surrounding school districts, Warren County’s scores were higher than Montgomery County R-II and Troy R-III, but were behind Wright City, Gasconade County, New Haven and Washington.
“There’s a tier system here — Tier 1 and Tier 2 — and we want to move up to be in that top tier,” said Klinginsmith, noting that the district plans to meet with Washington and other schools to learn more about their best practices.
Areas in which students scored the highest ever include third-, fourth- and fifth-grade math; fourth-, sixth- and seventh-grade communications arts; fifth- and eighth-grade science; English 1; geometry; and algebra II.
R-III scores in fourth-grade math and in American history were above statewide numbers.
Klinginsmith said that next year, the statewide index scoring system is changing, and that the district expects to learn the details of the revised system by December.
Officials said that about 11 percent of the district’s students currently fall into the scoring category of “below basic,” and that there are only 65 districts in the state that have more students in this category than Warren County.
“The state is telling us that if you have students who fall into the ‘below basic’ category, these kids will not be considered college and career driven, and that schools will be penalized for these low scores,” said Klinginsmith. “So as we go through the year, we’re planning to work with our principals to get these students out of this low-scoring area with tutoring and other interventions.”