Scores Look Good Statewide on MAP test
August 11, 2015

Missouri students scored higher in many categories of the new 2015 statewide tests than scores from 2014.

The statewide average were released Tuesday by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE)

Overall nearly 60% of the students in grades 3-8 (59.7%) scored in the proficient or advanced categories.

45.2% in mathematics.

56.7% in science.

63.4% in social studies.

Educators, however, cautioned against making comparisons to previous tests. That’s because the 2015 MAP test used new, different standards and assessments in many categories.

One of the biggest differences was how the test was taken.

For the first time, students in grades 3 through 8 took the test by computer rather than using the traditional pencil and paper test taking methods.

Scores of individual districts will be released next week.

lDESE says no district will lose its classification if it scored poorly in this brand new test. Some schools, however, could see rankings improved with an increase in scores.

Both the Kansas City, Missouri and Hickman Mills district in the Kansas City area, on provisional accreditation because of low test scores in the past.

State Boards Tell KC Schools to Wait for Accreditation
July 22, 2014

The Kansas City school system did not get its wish today.
The Missouri Board of Educations did not grant the district provisional accreditation.
The Kansas City district asked the Missouri Board to immediately grant them provisional accreditation. The district says its made improvements in its academic performance.
The state board, however, doesn’t see it that way.
“There is not sufficient data available yet for KCPS to verify that they have earned provisional accreditation,” according to a statement from DESE Tuesday afternoon.
The latest round of state test scores should be available in late August.
The unaccredited district expected to get its provisional accreditation restored at that time.
Kansas City thought it had improved enough in 2013 to regain accreditation.
Missouri Education Commissioner Chris Nicasto said the state was looking for a sustained trend of improvement , rather than just a good score on one round of tests.
The district says it has been make steady improvement now for three years.
Superintendent Steven Green says the district wanted to get the accreditation settled before the school year started.
He said that would prevent students who can transfer out of the district because of the lack of accreditation, having g to rejoin the school ( or provisional accreditation) is restored.

Missouri Lawmakers Reform Student Transfer Law
May 15, 2014

(AP) – Lawmakers gave final approval Thursday to legislation overhauling a Missouri education law that requires struggling schools to pay for students to transfer elsewhere, despite criticism from Gov. Jay Nixon that the measure could force taxpayers to pay for private school attendance.

Officials have been working to revise the 1993 transfer law after recent decisions by the state Supreme Court upheld the requirement for unaccredited Missouri school districts to pay the costs of transferring students. House members passed the legislation 89-66 on Thursday. It passed the Senate 28-3 on Wednesday. If signed by Nixon, it would take effect immediately.

Supporters described the legislation as a compromise that would control the transfer costs and the movement of students and help struggling school systems.

“We need to address this issue today and now,” said sponsoring Rep. Rick Stream, R-Kirkwood.

The legislation would require accreditation of individual schools along with entire districts, and allow transfers by students who have spent at least one semester at an unaccredited school within an unaccredited district. Students first would move to a better school within their home district. If that option isn’t available, students could apply to attend an accredited district in the same county or a neighboring one, or go to a private school within their home districts. Accredited districts also could sponsor charter schools within unaccredited districts and existing high-quality charter schools would have expedited opportunities to expand into unaccredited districts in Kansas City and St. Louis.

Nixon Has Concerns Over Student Transfers to Private Schools
May 2, 2014

(AP) – Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is voicing reservations about the idea of letting students in unaccredited districts transfer to nonreligious private schools at public expense.

The Legislature is working on revisions to Missouri’s law requiring unaccredited districts to pay transportation and tuition for students to transfer to nearby public schools.

The House and Senate have both endorsed versions that would also allow transfers to private schools. Unaccredited districts would pay for those transfers using revenue from local taxes.

Nixon said Thursday public money shouldn’t be spent for private education. He says funding for school districts already is limited and noted that Missouri’s formula for providing basic aid to districts is not fully funded.

House Approves Student Transfer Bill for Unaccredited Districts
May 1, 2014

(AP) – A proposal to overhaul a Missouri school transfer law won state House approval Wednesday after lawmakers pared back provisions that could allow some students to attend a private school at local taxpayers’ expense.

Legislators are seeking to revise a 1993 student transfer law after recent decisions by the state Supreme Court upheld the requirement for unaccredited districts to pay the costs of transferring students. Transfers have occurred this school year in the suburban St. Louis districts of Riverview Gardens and Normandy, and the financial strain prompted the state to approve funding to ensure Normandy gets through the school year. The Kansas City district also is unaccredited.

The House-backed measure would require accrediting individual schools along with entire school districts and allow transfers by students who have spent at least one semester at an unaccredited school within an unaccredited district. Transferring students could move to a better school within their home districts, or go to other school districts, charter schools or nonreligious private schools. A regional education authority would assign transferring students to a school and first would seek to fill seats within the unaccredited district.

The private school portion calls for districts to pay tuition using local tax revenues and has generated particular concern. House members limited it to school districts in St. Louis city, St. Louis County and Jackson County and required approval from local voters.