Data shows dramatic drop in Missouri students’ test scores

Published: Mar. 8, 2023 at 7:55 PM CST
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - Brand new statewide performance data is revealing many Missouri school districts could be on a path toward losing full accreditation.

They have until the end of the 2024 school year to pull test scores up.

The new data was just released by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. It’s called the Missouri School Improvement Program, which is a statewide system that outlines expectations for school practices and student outcomes.

It is important to note that the accountability system that was used this year utilized different scoring requirements than what has been used in previous years. It is inaccurate to compare these scores with previous years.

That said, under this new system, more than 100 districts across Missouri are now in the “provisionally accredited” or “unaccredited” score range. That is an increase from fewer than 10 in the last system.

This is the first time we’re getting a really detailed picture of how public schools are doing since the pandemic. Chronic absenteeism is playing a huge part in these low test scores.

“It remains clear that high-quality instruction matters,” said Mallory McGowin, DESE’s Chief Communications Officer. “We watched that play out. You can see some districts that had longer periods without in-person learning; they’re still struggling with student performance or attendance issues.”

Under state law, it is prohibited to change a district’s accreditation within the first year of this data. So, districts have this school year and the next to start pulling up test scores.