A new way to evaluate the relative success school districts have in educating children has been put forth. The Public Education Evaluation Report, or PEER, lets people compare student performance on a district-by-district basis. But it tries to make the comparisons on the basis of similar districts. And that’s a key factor. Organizers such as state school board member Peter Herschend says it’s a mistake to compare achievement in districts of equal size because enollment is not the most important factor in determining student performance. Researchers working with the Missouri Partnership for Outstanding Schools say the two most important factors affecting student performance are the economic standard of the family and the amount of money spent per pupil in the district. The first report examines math test scores. Other reports will be compliled annually. Copies will soon be available in all public libraries.
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