The Department of Education is looking at the Annual Performance Report Scores for school districts statewide. Commissioner Chris NiCastro says failing schools will get extra attention.

NiCastro says LAST year’s annual performance report shows two schools are Unaccredited — St. Louis Public Schools and Riverview Gardens. She says nine more are provisional: Caruthersville, Charleston, Gilliam, Hayti, Jennings, Kansas City, Morgan County R-1, Normandy, and Sheldon R-8.

She says the state board of education will consider several of those, and — based on the 2010 numbers — will see if they should be accredited. Schools that are provisional or bordering on provisional will get some extra help from the top: more resources, closer monitoring.

“In most cases, the State Board of Education formally evaluates school districts once every five years, and the district’s accreditation classification remains intact until the board determines otherwise,” the department states.  “The APR is significant because it provides an annual indicator of trends in a school district and enables state and local school officials to take steps to assist a struggling district.”

NiCastro says the Annual Performance Report is a better measure of school performance than the MAP (Missouri Advanced Placement) testing or Adequate Yearly Progress report because it assesses a broader scope of contributing factors, such as attendance, graduation rates, advanced placement, college acceptance and more.

She says Missouri’s Annual Performance Report started 20 years ago, long before “No Child Left Behind” existed. NiCastro says the department’s goal is to measure students on several levels and continue to raise the bar on education standards.

The Department intends to start also looking at remediation rates in college, college graduation rates and more “to increase accountability and … raise the bar if you will to ensure that all Missouri school districts aspire for higher levels of performance,” she says.

The department has published a guide to Understanding the APR Report.

MAP scores and SAT numbers are being released Monday, Sept. 13.

Jessica Machetta reports [Mp3, 1:23 min.]

Commissioner NiCastro talks with reporters [Mp3, 29:11]

Preliminary 2010 K-12 summary:
Total number of performance standards met: Number of school districts*
14 218
13 92
12 50
11 35
10 19
9 13
8 6
7 4
6 3
5 4
4 3

*No APR generated for Pemiscot Co. Special School District

Preliminary 2010 K-8 summary:
Total number of performance standards met: Number of school districts
7 50
6 15
5 5
4 4