What is often referred to as the “Nation’s Report Card” is out. It shows Missouri’s K-12 public school students had lower math and reading test scores this year compared to the previous exam’s results from 2019.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) information is based upon sampling from 100 Missouri schools.
The report card shows Missouri fourth grade math scores declined eight points while eight grade math scores declined nine points. Reading scores among fourth graders are down 25 points while eight graders saw a decline of five points.
Jeremy Ellis, with the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, presented the information Tuesday to the State Board of Education.
“Missouri, along with the nation, saw some very steep declines in the assessment from 2019 to 2022. We’ve never seen drops like this before,” he said. “They’re very historic and significant. Mathematics had the larger impact. Lower achieving students saw that larger impact as well. We saw that in the data as well. However, the bright note here would be that Missouri’s statistically stayed the same as the national public average, as we have in the past.”
Board of Education Vice President Carol Hallquist, of Kansas City, commented on the results.
“I think it would be interesting to look at the states that tend to do better, and what they pay teachers, and the state budget devoted to education, because my guess is Missouri is one of the lowest in both of those categories and I personally think it influences educational outcome,” she said.
Board member Kerry Casey, of Chesterfield, asked now what?
“I feel as though, yes, teacher pay, retention certainly impacts it, but curriculum, assessment, timing, pro social skill, incorporation into the culture and climate of the school – all of those are key factors. I would like to see a kind of a landscape analysis done across this to say, if it’s Mississippi and it’s this reading program, or if it’s Massachusetts and it’s this math program, then what can we learn and where will we go,” asked Casey.
State Education Commissioner Margie Vandeven said several items should be reviewed.
“I will tell you, as the Commissioner, I’ve been studying this for a long time that reading matters and the way we teach reading matters. We are fully invested in moving forward with how we teach reading. There are a number of other areas around this table that we all can consider important changes that we need to make and look at on a national level. Let’s stay united in those, stay very focused on those, and move forward in that direction,” said Vandeven.
The commissioner also said attendance matters and so does the number of instructional days on each district’s academic calendar.
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