Figures released today Tuesday by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) show an overall drop in standardized test scores for the state's public school students.
Fewer students during the past school year achieved "proficient" scores for English, math and science sections of the Missouri Assessment Program, or MAP, tests. Social studies was the only subject that saw overall scores rise.
Margie Vandeven, DESE's deputy commissioner of learning services, said, "It's definitely more prevalent in the lower grade levels than in the higher grade levels, but there does not seem to be a pattern across size of schools, locations of schools, types of districts."
Vandeven sent a memo to DESE administrators last week listing several possible reasons for this year's drop in test scores. It included a new test form this year, along with schools taking more snow days this past winter.
"Particularly this year, the pattern of the weather and the missed school days were so continuous throughout the school year (that) there was truly a disruption to the time that kids were in the classroom," Vandeven said. "That, again, looks very different from classroom to classroom (and) from district to district."
DESE officials are scheduled to release MAP test results for individual school districts later this month.
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