Multimedia Journalist

JC Schools score below average on APR science

The Jefferson City School District’s science scores from the Missouri School Improvement Program’s Annual Performance Report for the 2018-19 school year were slightly below state averages.

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released science data Monday. DESE administers assessments to non-charter public schools to measure progress and accreditation. Scores for academic achievement in English, math, college and career readiness, attendance and graduation rates were released in October.

Science scores were held until mid-November because a new test was administered by DESE this year. A more rigorous field test was given in the 2018-19 school year. When new tests are given, assessments cannot be compared to previous years, according to DESE.

Social studies scores were not included because a field test took place this year. New social studies assessments will be given in the 2019-20 school year.

The MSIP system calculates

student performance data for districts. This year, the state changed the language used to measure schools’ performance.

Schools’ overall performance for the year makes up their status. Progress reflects a school’s level of achievement on the Missouri Assessment Program test over a three-year average.

APR labels status and progress by whether schools are below expectations, defined as “floor;” near expectations, defined as “approaching;” meeting expectations, defined as “on track;” or exceeding expectations, defined as “target.”

JC Schools’ average status and progress scored as 327.2 points, showing some improvement this year.

The state’s average science score was 333.9, or near expectations.

The APR scores schools’ performance from 100-500. Since a new science test was given this year, progress was measured by each district’s typical percent of improvement, DESE Communications Coordinator Mallory McGowin said.

Academic achievement is also tracked for subgroups such as low-income students, students with disabilities, English learners, and black and Hispanic students who haven’t historically performed as well, according to DESE.

JC Schools’ subgroup status and progress also scored 291 or below expectations, according to the APR data. The state’s subgroup achievement average was 295.4 points or below expectations.

The scores aren’t where the district wants them, but they are comparable with the state, JC Schools Superintendent Larry Linthacum said.

“We don’t want to compare ourselves with the state, but we are comparable to them in overall progress,” Linthacum said. “We know that we have room to improve.”

The district has not looked at individual scores for each school building, he said.

Overall, 41 percent of JC Schools students who took the science test received proficient or advanced scores, according to APR data. Subgroup achievement science scores show 28 percent performed at the same level.

The state proficient or advanced total was 41 percent, McGowin said.

Subgroup achievement totals were unavailable at the time News Tribune requested them.

The next steps will be looking at the scores and having conversations with teachers to implement skills in the classroom, Linthacum said.

Other APR data for JC Schools, as previously reported, include:

• English and math scores were near expectations, or “approaching” status. The state’s average for English and math were “approaching” status.

• Attendance, graduation rates, college and career readiness for college credit, secondary placement and college assessments were meeting expectations, or “on track.” The state average for graduation is meeting expectations or “on track” and attendance is exceeding expectations. State averages were meeting expectations for college credit and exceeding expectations for secondary and college assessments.

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