Missouri Department of Education releases MAP scores

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JEFFERSON CITY – The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released results from the statewide Missouri Assessment Program, and students are showing improvement.

“We are please to see the progress students made across the board in the last year,” said Commissioner of Education Margie Vandeven in a statement. “Reading and numeracy skills are essential to ensuring that students are prepared for success after high school.”

The slight increase from last year is in all content areas and grade levels, however the department does caution that this does not establish a trend.

“So what we are seeing is two years of data, and we are seeing improvement across the board in all content areas and we are really pleased to see that, but we do like multiple years of data to establish a trend line,” said Sarah Potter, the communications coordinator for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

The test is for grades three through eight, and is used to gauge student progress in Missouri public schools. More than 407,740 students participated in the testing.

“For English and math there wasn’t huge shifts, we saw small things like more research based writing in English, and math we saw things moving grade levels so for instance telling time and counting money were moved down to lower grade levels,” Potter said. “We saw much bigger shifts in things like science, where we were doing a lot of fact regurgitation before, now its much more hands on learning and more experimentation.”

This comes after the State Board of Education Approved Missouri’s Every Student Succeeds Act, which has a goal of improving student performance in English language arts, math and science.

“We want to ensure what we are finding is effective practices for teachers, that they are maximizing the use of resources to return on that investment with the best student outcomes, but it all depends with an analysis of what’s going on in that district and in that school,” said Chris Neale, the assistant commissioner in the office of quality schools.

The overall goal of the Every Student Succeeds Act is to ensure all children, most importantly the most vulnerable students, have access to education and the opportunity for success.

“It still has that basic purpose of ensuring all students regardless of their racial or ethnic background, the level of poverty in their lives, whether or not they have disabilities, or they are foster or homeless, military dependent or English learners that they all have access to excellent education opportunities,” said Neale.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will submit the plan to the U.S. Department of Education by September 18, 2017.