Overall, Kansas City area school districts should be commended for scoring well on new state report cards.
Thirty-one of the 32 districts earned at least 70 percent, required for districts to be fully accredited. They were among 97 percent of the school districts in Missouri scoring at the full accreditation level on annual performance reports.
Kansas City Public Schools was below the line at 66.1 percent. But its jump from 60 percent last year was enough to earn provisional accreditation. Of the area districts, 22 boosted their scores over 2013, including Hickman Mills, rising from 51.8 percent to 70.7 percent, and North Kansas City, increasing from 78.9 percent to 92.1 percent.
Those where scores slid include the Belton district, falling from 96.1 percent in 2013 to 83.6 percent in 2014; Raytown, dropping from 85 percent to 71.8 percent; and Grandview, going from 93.6 percent to 90 percent.
Students’ performance on tests comprises 50 percent of each district’s annual score. Other points are earned in attendance, graduation rates, and college and career readiness.
A big concern right now is that the percentage of students statewide who scored proficient or better in English language arts and in math dropped slightly.
In Kansas City Public Schools, only about 30 percent of its students are proficient or advanced in math, reading and writing. The need to boost those scores will make earning full accreditation harder.
In addition, all school districts in Missouri will have a tougher time maintaining or advancing their scores because the tests are expected to be harder and the bar higher with this year’s full implementation of the Missouri Learning Standards, incorporating the Common Core State Standards.
To keep up, teachers, students and parents will have to work more diligently and get more support from districts, communities and the state board of education.