MAP Test Results for Jefferson County Schools

21 Aug

After trying for a couple of days to wade through the labyrinth that is the Missouri’s education reporting web site, I think I can discuss how our local schools fared on last year’s Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) tests). But some of this is still confusing, so I appreciate any insight you can provide in the comments.

These tests are given every year as part of the federal No Child Left Behind program. These results help certify schools for accreditation (a designation schools in St. Louis and Kansas City currently lack), and they also determine school districts’ Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), although Missouri, like 33 other states, has a waiver releasing it from having to meet these goals. These tests serve as a way for us to compare districts.

Let me start with some linkage. It was not easy to find what I was seeking, so I hope these help you.

  • AYP Summary – tells you at a glance how each district, or even each school within a district, performed on the whole vs. AYP. The factors included in AYP include test participation rate, attendance, graduation rates, and student performance on math and communication arts (aka reading or English) parts of the test. Student scores are broken down by race, ethnicity, disability, limited English, and free lunch status. Students in each subgroup have to meet the test threshholds (if that subgroup has a critical mass in the district, which is 30 kids for most subgroups). These grids do not contain 2012 information, presumably because of the aforementioned waiver.
  • AYP Grid – gives you test scores for each subgroup, along with attendance and graduation figures, for districts and schools. Also tells you if each subgroup met the standard or not. See the bottom of page 2 for a legend that deciphers the many notations on the report. These numbers, and the ones in the database below, tell you the percentage of students who scored ‘proficient’ or ‘advanced’ for each subject (other score possibilities are ‘basic’ and ‘below basic’). These grids do not contain 2012 information.
  • Post-Dispatch database – gives you an easy way to look up communication and math scores for each school for 2011 and 2012.
  • State Achievement Report – see the number and percentage of students at each school or district that scored in each of the 4 levels (below basic, basic, proficient, advanced) for each subject. Includes 2012.
  • Raw test score data – See how each grade at each school scored on each subject (including some besides communications and math). Includes 2012

To review AYP information for Jefferson County from last year, no district met the AYP benchmarks. This is because one or more subgroups at each district didn’t pass either math or communications at the required level. Windsor was very close – only the disabled students’ (officially called IEP, or individual education plan) score on communications missed the cut. The next best schools in this regard were Northwest, which made the grade for 9 of 14 groups, and Festus, which did for 6 of 10.

Separately, but somewhat related, we can compare test passing percentages for each school (scores of proficient or advanced pass, as you recall). This tells us how kids do on the tests, regardless of groupings. If you aren’t really interested in how the subgroups fare, but how kids do overall, this is the place to look. I have compiled a table that shows the percentage that passed English (aka comm arts) and Math for each high school for 2011 and 2012 (I didn’t want to do this for all grade levels, so I just did high schools, except for Sunrise, which only has an elementary school). I then summed English and Math scores, from the Post-Dispatch database, to come up with a total for 2011 and 2012, and calculated the change between years. I sorted the schools based on their 2012 sum, best to worst. I highlighted in red subject scores that dropped from 2011 to 2012 (click to enlarge). Note also the statewide results at the bottom.

As you see, the top two scorers were from the Fox district, with Seckmann taking the top spot after being in third place last year. Fox was again in second, and DeSoto (they of the suspended superintendent) plummeted to fourth due to a big drop in passing math scores.  The newcomer to the county, Jefferson High, placed third in its third year of existence (I believe). DeSoto had the second-biggest drop from 2011 to 2012, behind Grandview, which dropped 30 points and down to last place. On the whole, you see a lot of red numbers on this table. . The two Hillsboro-area schools, Hillsboro and Grandview, brought up the rear (along with the kids at Sunrise).

There appear to be some discrepancies between the AYP Grid and the Achievement Report scores. For example, the Grid says DeSoto High kids passed comm arts at a 88.7% rate last year, but the Report says 77.8. The respective math numbers are 83.2 and 78.  Maybe there are some adjustments that are done to the Grid numbers. Comparing the two sources for Fox High shows that the numbers are within a percentage point.

It is useful for parents and citizens to be able to compare schools in this manner. It is hard to evaluate anything without having something to compare it to, and because of these scores, we can compare. This is not an end-all-be-all evaluation; there are other factors to consider (like FOOTBALL), but with this info available, we can hold our school boards and administrators accountable. So go do it.

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2 Responses to “MAP Test Results for Jefferson County Schools”

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  1. Pay for Performance? « Jefferson County Penknife - September 6, 2012

    […] I, unlike any other news source in the county, wrote about the performance of Jefferson County high schools in the state MAP assessment. This week, the Leader took a look at teacher pay in the county. While […]

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  2. Jefferson County MAP Scores 2013; Festus on Top | Jefferson County Penknife - August 25, 2013

    […] assessment, we can see how our schools stack up. I did a somewhat similar comparison last year. Here is this year’s chart, sorted by MSIP score (click to […]

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