State Officials Pleased with Steady Gains on MAP Tests
End-of-course Tests Debut; Fewer Schools Meet AYP Targets.
State education officials say they are pleased with new “end-of-course tests” in English, biology and algebra that will be used to measure the academic progress of Missouri high school students.
Results from the new end-of-course (EOC) exams were released today by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education along with its annual report of Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) test results for all public schools in Missouri.
In grades 3-8, students posted small to moderate gains in math and English at every level except one (grade 6 math), continuing the trend of slow but steady improvement in the academic performance of elementary-grade students.
That growth, however, is not sufficient to help schools meet the rising standards of “adequate yearly progress” (AYP) as required by federal law. As a result, the number of schools in the state that did not meet AYP targets this year increased again. (See chart.)
Commissioner of Education Chris L. Nicastro said that she favored the transition to end-of-course tests and believes the new exams will be beneficial to students and schools.
“The first year of testing with the EOC program went smoothly. These tests will provide increased accountability for students and valuable information for schools to support instructional improvement,” Dr. Nicastro said.
About 63,000 students took each of the new EOC exams during 2008-09. The statewide results are:
• English II – 72.6% of student scored proficient or advanced
• Algebra I – 52.7% of students scored proficient or advanced
• Biology – 55.1% of students scored proficient or advanced
With EOC exams, students take the test over the specific course content at the end of the class. In the past, all students took a math test in tenth grade and a communication arts test in eleventh grade.
The EOC exams also are intended to increase students’ motivation to perform well on the tests. A portion of each student’s final course grade is now based on the results of the EOC exam. In the past, there were no consequences for students if they scored poorly on a MAP test.
Adequate Yearly Progress
About two-thirds of all school buildings in Missouri did not meet federal AYP targets this year, compared to about 58% in 2008.
“Adequate Yearly Progress is just one piece of a much-larger picture that displays how well our students are doing,” Nicastro said. “We have seen gains in our state test scores and progress in closing achievement gaps between groups of students. Factors such as formative assessments, student and parent engagement, attendance rates, and graduation rates are all part of the picture when looking at student achievement,” she said.
Here is a breakdown of districts and schools meeting AYP in 2009:
Title I Schools in “School Improvement”
Total Number of Public Schools 2,210
Total Number of Title I Schools 1,165
Title I Schools in School Improvement: 350
School Improvement Level 1 198
School Improvement Level 1, Delayed 39
School Improvement Level 2 100
School Improvement Level 2, Delayed 13
Title I Schools in Corrective Action: 70
School Improvement Level 3, Corrective Action Year 1 69
School Improvement Level 3, Corrective Action, Delayed 1
Title I Schools in Restructuring: 75
School Improvement Level 4, Restructuring, Planning 19
School Improvement Level 5, Restructuring, Implementation 42
School Improvement Level 5, Restructuring, Continuing 14
Title I Schools Receiving Sanctions: 495
State Summary of MAP Results
District by District Results
Preliminary List of Title I Schools Receiving Sanctions