Columbia Public Schools releases state test results

Related Story

COLUMBIA -  The Columbia Public School District released data Tuesday on how its students performed on state tests.

Each school district decides if it will release its Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) test results, and CPS chose to.

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) uses these tests to monitor growth of students, teachers and districts.

Last year, students took MAP tests with paper and pencil it an easier reading level. This year, more rigorous tests were taken on the computer. Therefore, DESE said, test results can't be fairly compared.

As far as this year's scores, eighth graders scored considerably lower in math than every other grade. They scored 21.2%, whereas third graders scored 46.4%, fourth graders scored 43.9%, fifth graders scored 39.6%, sixth graders scored 38.6%, seventh graders scored 39.6%.

Seventh graders scored higher than every other grade in English and language arts with 56.1%.

CPS Superintendent Dr. Peter Stiepleman said next year's state tests will also be different.

"Is it frustrating that I can't compare last year to this year? Not frustrating as much as I would have liked next years' test to be a reflection of what they took this year so I can show growth. The absence of being able to really show growth - we're going to have to rely more and more on internal measures."

Stiepleman said the "internal measures" include the STAR  test, which is an exam CPS pays for and distributes to evaluate the growth of students and teachers. The STAR test is used so CPS doesn't have to rely on the state for monitoring growth of students, teachers and individual schools.

As far as taking the state exam on computers, Stiepleam said some students like it and some do not. He said he hopes to students will see value in the MAP test as they see in the ACT or AP exams.  

"When they take the MAP test, it matters to the schools and the accreditation, but it doesn't always matter as much to the student, and so we have to build that relevance for them. So, I do think the shift in how the test is designed will show more relevance, because we're telling them 'these are the kinds of skills you need in a career, whatever career you choose to do.' The previous MAP may not have mattered as much."

CPS will release MAP test results for each school next week and the information is expected to show which schools need individual improvement.