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Five Takeaways From Schools' Annual Progress Reports

Tim Lloyd
St. Louis Public Radio

Read an analysisof the latest school report cards.

Normandy's annual performance score sank even lower than before, down to 7.1 percent of the possible points scored, lowest in the state.

State education officials have been working in the district for weeks, putting into place new techniques designed to improve academic achievement in the district, which was taken over by the state on July 1.

Riverview Gardens improves, clock is ticking.

The unaccredited district in north St. Louis County saw its score jump from 28.6 percent to 45.4 percent, but is still shy of the provision accreditation range.  Because the district is unaccredited, a controversial school transfer law allows students to go to an accredited district in the same or adjoining county.   The district is in fine financial shape for now, but Superintendent Scott Spurgeon said the cost associated with student transfers could ultimately put the district in a financial bind.  

Scores in districts with a significant number of transfer students showed little or no difference when the scores of those students are counted or not counted.

Some districts had heard complaints that taking in transfer students would harm the receiving district's annual performance score, but based on the first year of transfers, that effect has been minimal to non-existent.

SLPS score is up, but short of provisional accreditation range. Focus is on the lowest performing schools.

St. Louis Public Schools score rose by about 18 percentage points, but remained short of the provisional accreditation range. Superintendent Kelvin Adams called the results positive but added that there’s plenty of work left to do.  To ramp up classroom performance, the lowest performing schools in the district will receive additional oversight and resources.   The district's status has been provisionally accredited since 2012. 

Statewide, the number of students who earned scores of proficient and above dropped in English, math and science. Education officials say no one factor can be cited to explain the decline.

Possible reasons that have been considered are the transition to new test questions and a new curriculum and the large number of snow days that many districts coped with last year, cutting down on instructional time.

Below is a graphic showing Missouri schools' APR scores from 2013 and 2014. Click this link if you're on a mobile device or would like to see a larger graphic.

Brent is the senior data visual specialist at St. Louis Public Radio.
Tim Lloyd was a founding host of We Live Here from 2015 to 2018 and was the Senior Producer of On Demand and Content Partnerships until Spring of 2020.
Dale Singer began his career in professional journalism in 1969 by talking his way into a summer vacation replacement job at the now-defunct United Press International bureau in St. Louis; he later joined UPI full-time in 1972. Eight years later, he moved to the Post-Dispatch, where for the next 28-plus years he was a business reporter and editor, a Metro reporter specializing in education, assistant editor of the Editorial Page for 10 years and finally news editor of the newspaper's website. In September of 2008, he joined the staff of the Beacon, where he reported primarily on education. In addition to practicing journalism, Dale has been an adjunct professor at University College at Washington U. He and his wife live in west St. Louis County with their spoiled Bichon, Teddy. They have two adult daughters, who have followed them into the word business as a communications manager and a website editor, and three grandchildren. Dale reported for St. Louis Public Radio from 2013 to 2016.