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Public school students lag in English, math for second year


For the second year in a row, less than half of public school students in Missouri passed math and English tests this spring, according to newly released data.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) released statewide results for the Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) for the 2018-19 school year on Thursday. Unlike in previous years, the state did not release district Annual Performance Reports (APR).

This was the second consecutive year the state has used a test that is considered to be more rigorous and difficult than years earlier. The current test is not comparable to those used before the 2017-2018 school year, K-12 Education Commissioner Margie Vandeven previously told The Missouri Times.

The exam first administered in the spring of 2018 was the fourth new test since 2013 for Missouri. Vandeven said earlier this year that now that Missouri standards are in place, she is hopeful there will be a “level of stability.”

For the English exam, 49 percent of public school students passed. For the math exam, 42 percent of public school students passed. The numbers are identical to the previous year. 

Last year, while public school children did not have a high rate of passage, the public schools did.

More than 97 percent of Missouri districts and charter schools scored at least 70 percent of the possible points on the APR in 2018. For public school districts, this placed them in the fully accredited range, while charter schools do not receive an accreditation classification under current guidelines.

However, that data was not included in the statistics released this year. Districts can request APR scores from the state, and the formula to calculate the scores is publicly available.

The state said the decision not to include APR data was made to encourage people to look beyond just one number.