What these scores mean in Missouri

Student achievement in Missouri is gauged by performance on the state test known as the Missouri Assessment Program, or MAP. Scores dictate how well schools and districts stack up against the federal No Child Left Behind Act. The scores also figure into district accreditation.

These charts show test results in math, communication arts and science for districts that serve the four Missouri metro counties. Science is a voluntary exam not given by all districts.

Before 2006, math tests were given only in the fourth, eighth and 10th grades; communication arts was tested in the third, seventh and 11th grades. Science is given in grades three, seven and 10.

Starting in 2006, No Child Left Behind required that both communication arts and math be tested in grades three through eight and once in high school.

No Child Left Behind also has introduced the concept of adequate yearly progress, or AYP, which requires that schools and districts meet state proficiency targets in math and communication arts. The federal law says that all students should be proficient in math and communication arts by 2014.

In 2006, Missouri strived to have at least 34.7 percent of students proficient in communication arts; the benchmark was 26.6 percent in math.

A school can fall short of the benchmarks but still make AYP if students have shown significant progress. Schools also can make AYP if they are within the margin of error for scoring.

A school may meet or exceed the benchmarks but still fail to make AYP if any subgroup, such as students from low-income families, falls short. Scores for subgroups are not shown.

Schools also can be designated as low-performing, despite meeting benchmarks, if not enough students take the test.

Schools that receive federal Title I anti-poverty money are subject to sanctions through No Child Left Behind, if they consistently fail to meet AYP targets.

To see whether or not a school or district made AYP, go to the demographics portion of this Web site. Go to the “AYP: Kansas | Missouri” link on the main page of this site to see which subgroups kept individual schools and districts from making AYP.

Missouri requires all public schools to test their students. Neither private nor parochial students are tested in Missouri, nor are they accredited by the state. Kansas does test those schools if they wish to be accredited by the state.