The Missouri Department of Education’s annual performance reports say more than 98% of the state’s public school districts scored high enough to be considered “accredited.” Accreditation is certification that a school meets all educational requirements.
Commissioner of Education Margie Vandeven said low-income, black, special needs, and English language learning students are still lagging behind in achievement compared to the rest of the student population. The most recent Missouri Assessment Program – or MAP – verifies that.
“We’re looking at that gap very carefully. What we have noted is that as you move through the system, it does appear that the gap decreases in the upper grades,” said Vandeven. “We see that as a positive trend but again we never want to read too much into one year of data.”
In 2013, the first year of performance reports, 30 districts scored below accreditation and that number is down to eight districts.
“What we’re working on this year is to try to obtain additional funding for the Missouri School Improvement Program support and intervention plan so we can provide more intensive support to our districts that need the support the most.”
State statute does not permit the Missouri School Improvement Program accreditation for charter schools, but the department issues the same annual performance reports to them. About 27% of charter schools earned more than 90% of the points possible, up from 15% in 2013.
The reports are used to help the State Board of Education decide if a school should be accredited.