St. Joseph School District MAP scores
improved generally, however, the District did not meet the government mandated
proficiency targets and, therefore, did not make “Adequate Yearly Progress” as
defined by the federal No Child Left Behind law. Communication Arts and Math MAP scores
increased at 14 and 13 schools, respectively, but generally fell short of the
targets of 72.5 percent for Math and 75.5 percent for Communication Arts.
“I am pleased with our MAP (Missouri
Assessment Program) scores because we improved generally,” said Dr. Melody
Smith, Superintendent of Schools, “however, I’m disappointed we did not hit the
“We continue to make progress, although
not as defined by the federal and state governments, and that’s directly
attributable to parents and teachers being committed to increased performance,”
said Dr. Smith
The targets increase by eight to nine
percent annually until, by 2014, 100 percent of all students must score in the
advanced or proficient category, roughly equivalent to an A or B.
SJSD students are divided into 10
subgroups (White, Hispanic, Free/Reduced Lunch, Special Education, etc.) and if
any one subgroup fails to make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), that is, hit the
mandated targets, the school itself fails to make AYP. In addition, districts fail to make AYP if
one subgroup fails to make AYP.
Eventually, districts can face government sanctions.
“Because the targets are unrealistic and, essentially
unattainable, we have focused on continuous school improvement,” said Cheri
Patterson, Associate Superintendent.
“Our scores indicate that we have been somewhat successful, especially
when you look at our five-year trend lines.”
Individual MAP school highlights in
Communication Arts include: Edison, 8.9 percent increase over year-ago scores;
Ellison, 7.9 percent increase; Lake, 7.5 percent increase; Parkway, 10.0
percent increase; and Noyes, 12.0 percent increase.
Individual school highlights in Math
include: Coleman, 8.6 percent increase over year-ago scores; Lafayette, 11.8
percent increase; Lake, 20.5 percent increase; Parkway, 10.9 percent increase.
This year, no SJSD schools made Adequate
Yearly Progress. And that means changes for some parents.
Pershing (which scored above the state
average) and Hyde (which scored above the District average) Elementary Schools
did not make AYP this year, which means that, according to No Child Left
Behind, they will not be able to accept transfer students from Title I schools
that did not meet AYP. Last year,
Pershing and Hyde were among the allowable “receiving” schools and some parents
were able to send their students there, with transportation provided. That will not be an option at those two
schools this year.
Further, this year, the only schools that
may receive transfer or choice students from Title I schools are: Coleman,
Field, Noyes and Pickett. Letters have
been sent to parents of students at Edison, Hall, Hosea, Humboldt, Lake and
Lindbergh advising them of their options.
“While No Child Left Behind was
well-intentioned, it is incredibly confusing for school districts and, most
importantly, for parents,” said Mrs. Patterson.
“We respectfully encourage parents to get involved in their schools and
experience for themselves that their children are receiving a quality
“A single high-stakes test does not truly
measure a quality education,” she said. “Simply look at the improvement gains
at Edison, Lake and Noyes, for example,
and you can see that these are far from being ‘failing schools.’”
In addition, Mrs. Patterson said that the
District’s commitment to continuous school improvement has paid off for some
sub-groups, as well, including the District’s 60 percent-plus Free and Reduced
Lunch (FRL) population.
Since 2008, the Communication Arts scores
of FRL students have improved by 4.8 percent, while Communication Arts scores
of Black students have increased by 5.8 percent.
Math scores for FRL students have
increased 6.6 percent since 2008, and Black student Math scores have climbed
The Communication Arts scores of White
students have increased 3.7 percent since 2008, while the Math scores of White
students have increased 3.5 percent.
The sub-group scores for English Language
Learners and Special Education students, however, have decreased since 2008.
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