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State releases Missouri school district report cards; majority of Boone County schools score lower

Missouri school report cards are in, and while a majority of schools scored well, a handful in Boone County saw lower numbers compared to the year before.

According to Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Communications Coordinator Sarah Potter, “A majority of schools are meeting the goals set out for them in the Missouri School Improvement Program 5, and we are pleased with their progress over the past five years. Grade-level Missouri Assessment Program data was also up across the board by at least 1 percent in all content areas.”

On a state-level, English language arts saw a 1 percent increase, math saw a 1.4 percent increase, science saw a 2.1 percent increase and American government saw a 1.7 percent increase.

The state scored each school’s academic achievement, subgroup achievement, college and career readiness, attendance, and graduation rate.

Columbia Public Schools

Columbia Public Schools’ Annual Performance Report score dropped a couple of percentage points compared to last year. For 2017, the score was 84.3 percent; in 2016 it was 86.8 percent.

School spokesperson Michelle Baumstark told ABC 17 News the district believed the low score was a result of Algebra 1 and English 2 not being factored into the Missouri Assessment Program test scores.

“For us, a lot of our higher-performing students are taking those advanced courses, so when you lose a huge portion of those, a little over 1,200 students that were thrown out,” Baumstark said.

The department said the two subjects were thrown out because the test design didn’t allow for year-to-year comparability.

The school district told ABC 17 News it is working to shrink the achievement gap so the subgroup achievement is at a higher percentage.

“In particular for us, we are looking at the performance of our free and reduced lunch students and our African American students,” Baumstark said. “We continue to see a gap there. We have made some progress, which is encouraging, but we haven’t made enough.”

Hallsville Public Schools

In Hallsville, the district saw a significant decrease in its annual performance report.

In 2017, the district scored 88.6 percent; in 2016, the district scored 95.4 percent.

District officials says they believe scores are low because of lower academic achievement among subgroups.

A district spokesperson told ABC 17 News in a statement that the district was disappointed but is working to fix it.

“Our school leaders, faculty, and Board of Education are focused on receiving meaningful feedback from DESE to improve schools and help Hallsville students succeed. Moving forward, subgroup achievement will be a primary focus in our updated building improvement plans, with emphases on closing gaps in both assessment results and student attendance rates. Although we have had intervention programs in place for several years, we will continue to refine and improve our curricular programs and instructional methods; additional staffing positions may also be necessary to meet the needs of our expanding student population.”

For more information on how schools across the state scored, go onto the department’s website and select the district.

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