Five Takeaways From Schools' Annual Progress Reports | St. Louis Public Radio

Five Takeaways From Schools' Annual Progress Reports

Aug 29, 2014

Read an analysis of the latest school report cards.

Normandy's annual performance score sank even lower than before, down to 7.1 percent of the possible points scored, lowest in the state.

State education officials have been working in the district for weeks, putting into place new techniques designed to improve academic achievement in the district, which was taken over by the state on July 1.

Sixth grader Max Jones follows a lesson plan at Westview Middle School in Riverview Gardens during the 2013-14 school year.
Credit Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

Riverview Gardens improves, clock is ticking.

The unaccredited district in north St. Louis County saw its score jump from 28.6 percent to 45.4 percent, but is still shy of the provision accreditation range.  Because the district is unaccredited, a controversial school transfer law allows students to go to an accredited district in the same or adjoining county.   The district is in fine financial shape for now, but Superintendent Scott Spurgeon said the cost associated with student transfers could ultimately put the district in a financial bind.  

Scores in districts with a significant number of transfer students showed little or no difference when the scores of those students are counted or not counted.

Some districts had heard complaints that taking in transfer students would harm the receiving district's annual performance score, but based on the first year of transfers, that effect has been minimal to non-existent.

SLPS score is up, but short of provisional accreditation range. Focus is on the lowest performing schools.

St. Louis Public Schools score rose by about 18 percentage points, but remained short of the provisional accreditation range. Superintendent Kelvin Adams called the results positive but added that there’s plenty of work left to do.  To ramp up classroom performance, the lowest performing schools in the district will receive additional oversight and resources.   The district's status has been provisionally accredited since 2012. 

Statewide, the number of students who earned scores of proficient and above dropped in English, math and science. Education officials say no one factor can be cited to explain the decline.

Possible reasons that have been considered are the transition to new test questions and a new curriculum and the large number of snow days that many districts coped with last year, cutting down on instructional time.

Below is a graphic showing Missouri schools' APR scores from 2013 and 2014. Click this link if you're on a mobile device or would like to see a larger graphic.

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