The latest annual report cards from the Missouri Education Department show that three Kansas City charter schools have fallen in the unaccredited range and another 12 Missouri charters are provisionally accredited. That’s nearly one-third of the state’s charters, which are publicly funded schools that operate independently.
Missouri’s Annual Performance Reports (APR) measure school quality by scoring school districts based on things like attendance, academics, high school and college and career readiness and graduation rates.
An APR higher than 70% is considered fully accredited and below 50% is unaccredited. Ewing Marion Kauffman School and University Academy in Kansas City and North Side Community School in St. Louis have drawn perfect scores of 100. The lowest scoring charters include Benjamin Banneker Charter Academy of Technology with a 45 and DeLaSalle Education Center in Kansas City with a 40.
Errors in Algebra and English high school standardized tests have prompted state officials to take the highest point totals for each school going back to 2014 and used those scores to compile 2017 scores – something that is otherwise referred to as “hold harmless” standards. If “hold harmless” would not have been used, additional charters would have fallen into provisionally unaccredited or unaccredited ranges.
Missouri has 39 charter schools. The state does not accredit charters but charter sponsors can choose to revoke a charter contract if the sponsor does not feel a charter school is meeting certain benchmarks.