District Meets Targets to Be Fully Accredited - The Missourian: Washington News

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District Meets Targets to Be Fully Accredited

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Posted: Saturday, August 18, 2012 12:00 pm | Updated: 9:22 pm, Sat Jun 22, 2013.

The Washington School District has met all of the required targets to be fully accredited, based on state achievement test results and other performance measures.

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education this week released each district’s Annual Performance Report (APR) and state achievement tests results known as the Missouri Assessment Program (MAP).

“We are very excited to have met the required targets in all areas,” said Assistant Superintendent Dr. Judy Straatmann.

“Even though we received a ‘met’ in each area, we will set goals based on how much above the target we scored,” she noted. “We are not about just getting a ‘met,’ the Washington School District desires to continue to improve our levels of proficiency regardless of those set for us by the department of education.”

Straatmann said officials are currently scouring the state data to ensure that all of the district’s information for the APR is accurate.

“We have found a few potential errors that may be corrected in our favor resulting in our scores being even higher,” she said. “The window to do this is open through Aug. 27. It is interesting that this report comes out before the appeals window is closed.”

How It Works

The MAP test scores and other performance measures are used to develop each school district’s APR.

Straatmann said the report 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.

Beginning this year, state officials 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.

MAP Scores

The Washington School District showed gains or held steady at most schools in 2011-12 on the MAP test, according to data released.

Statewide, MAP results show the overall percentages of students scoring at the “proficient” or “advanced” levels are continuing to increase slightly.

Nearly 600,000 students took MAP tests last spring in communication arts, math, science and social studies. MAP tests are administered annually at all public schools in Missouri.

Communication arts and math results are only discussed in this story.

In the Washington School District, students improved slightly from 66 percent to 66.30 percent proficient or advanced in communication arts, and dropped just slightly from 69.21 percent to 67.85 percent in math.

Statewide, students improved from 54.6 to 55 percent proficient or advanced in communication arts and from 54.3 to 55 percent in math.

Districts in Missouri with the highest scores in communication arts are Ladue, 78.9 percent, Lindbergh, 78.5 percent, Kirkwood, 77.5 percent, Clayton, 75.5 percent, and Rockwood, 74.6 percent. In math, the highest-scoring schools were Lindbergh, 83.9 percent, Brentwood, 79 percent, Ladue, 77.9 percent, Kirkwood, 77.5 percent, and Clayton, 74.9 percent.

Progress

“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 No. 1 of the state’s Top 10 by 20 plan. The plan calls for all Missouri students to graduate college and be career-ready.

In addition to the MAP testing, 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.

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