JCPS says focus on literacy led to perfect English score on statewide test

2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago Friday, February 01 2019 Feb 1, 2019 Friday, February 01, 2019 1:03:00 PM CST February 01, 2019 in Top Stories
By: McKenna Alexander, KOMU 8 Reporter

JEFFERSON CITY - Jefferson City Public Schools' has just earned a perfect score on the English/Language Arts section of the 2017-2018 Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) and Annual Performance Reports (APR) released Friday. 

The district received 16 out of 16 points in Academic Achievement and 4 out of 4 points in Subgroup Achievement.

“We’ve had a plan that we’ve stuck to where the overall focus is on teaching and learning—with the primary focus within that being literacy and reading," JCPS Superintendent Larry Linthacum said. "Our number one goal is to ensure that 100 percent of our kids are reading at or above grade level.

In a press release provided, JCPS Chief of Learning Brian Shindorf attributes this performance to the increase in students reading at grade level. 

"It starts at home, exposing our children to literacy at a young age." Linthacum said. "We know that the more involvement we can get from our parents and guardians, that the chances for success increase dramatically."

Molly McDaniels is the mother of two-year-old Andrew, who was introduced to reading when he was just six months old. McDaniels' goal is to have Andrew reading at a basic level upon entering kindergarten. 

“I think [JCPS] is doing a fantastic job," McDaniels said. "My daughter is a kindergartner at Belair elementary, and she’s doing a wonderful job with reading. It seems to be a major part of the curriculum."

However, Linthacum believes literacy success extends farther than just test scores.

“All the research in the world will indicate that increased literacy levels increase childrens' chances of success—their attendance rate goes up, graduation rates go up," Linthacum said. "And if our graduation rates go up, college and career readiness goes up, increasing the ability to make a more positive contribution to our society. It’s all tied together to be a part of the big picture, and we’re excited about the progress we’re making.”

The APR also measured the district scoring highest in Academic Achievement and College and Career Readiness. 

"It's the focus that we are stronger together, and trying to make that a reality in everything we do, including literacy.” Linthacum said.

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