Let's start this story with a big disclaimer: the Common Core-aligned tests Missouri students took this year are a one-time deal that cannot be compared to either what came before or what will come after.
Missouri students have, in fact, taken three different tests in the past four years, much to the chagrin of teachers and parents (and, no doubt, students). And since the state legislature broke ties with the multi-state testing consortium that developed this year's exams, there will be a new, as-yet-unknown test at the end of the school year that just kicked off.
Still, the results from the state's latest round of standardized tests can offer yet another snapshot of how metro area schools are doing.
The quick takeaway: the achievement gap between urban schools and suburban/rural schools remains significant.
The districts with most disadvantaged student populations (Kansas City, Hickman Mills, Grandview, Center) at the urban core of the metro, had an average of 43 percent of students score either proficient or advanced on the English test and 30 percent in math. Compare that to the metro averages of 62 percent in English and 47 percent in math.
Taken as a group, the 20 charter schools in Kansas City did slightly worse: 42 percent proficient or advanced in English and 29 percent in math. Though putting these schools in the same category can prove misleading.
The following schools have significant populations of free and reduced-price lunch students but also showed student achievement levels comparable to many suburban and rural districts:
Crossroads Academy had 64 percent proficient/advanced in English, 60 percent in math.
University Academy had 67 percent proficient or advanced in English; 44 percent in math.
The Kauffman School had 66 percent proficient or advanced in English, 47 percent in math.