School testing always makes students, educators and parents edgy. However, in Missouri, as school started back this week in many districts, people had good reasons to celebrate, and they should.
The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education reported that students on the 2015 Missouri Assessment Program exams exceeded expectations. “In the first assessment of new standards in English language arts and mathematics, Missouri students’ results were higher in nearly every category than results from field tests administered in 2014,” a prepared release said.
“We are very proud of Missouri students and school districts,” Margie Vandeven, the new commissioner of education, said in the prepared statement. “They worked diligently to transition to the more rigorous expectations of the Missouri Learning Standards and to adapt to the new online testing format.”
This was the first year the tests were given online for grades three through eight.
In English language arts, 59.7 percent of the third- through eighth-grade students scored proficient or advanced. In math, 45.2 percent scored proficient or advanced.
In science, 56.7 percent hit the proficient or advanced level, and 63.4 percent of the students achieved proficient or advanced in social studies.
Next week, the education department plans to release data on individual school districts.