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Kansas City, Hickman Mills Lag Behind Much of State In Assessment Scores

Sam Zeff

School districts across Missouri found out Monday how they did on last year's standardized tests.

For Kansas City Public Schools and the Hickman Mills districts, both provisionally accredited by the state, the news was mixed.

Missouri changed its test so it's impossible to accurately compare scores year-to-year. However, both districts scored below 50 percent proficient or advanced in all four subjects tested —English, math, science and social studies.

Still, Kansas City said there are reasons to be pleased with the results and believes it will be able to show Department of Elementary and Secondary Education officials that the district is making progress.

“We must and will improve,” Interim Superintendent Al Tunis said in a statement. “Our team of educators is adaptable and will move swiftly to put in place the best classroom tools and techniques."

Kansas City and Hickman Mills have said they will press DESE for full accreditation. DESE says it's open to that but it doesn't know just yet how to judge districts with this set of test results.

In Hickman Mills, 33 percent of students scored proficient or advanced in English, 24 percent in math, 27 percent in science and 48 percent in social studies.

In Kansas City, those scores were 32 percent proficient or advanced in English, 22 percent in math, 23 percent in science and 39 percent in social studies.

By comparison, 66 percent students at North Kansas City schools were in the top two categories in English, 53 percent in math, 65 percent in science and 69 percent in social studies.

In the Park Hill district, students scored 73 percent in English, 62 percent in math, 74 percent in science and 80 percent in social studies.

English, math and social studies tests were given to all students in 3rd through 8th grades. Science was tested in only 5th and 8th grades.

Last year's test was aligned with Common Core standards. Missouri lawmakers didn't like that and they ordered that a different standardized test be given next year. DESE created several committees to work on standards and testing for next year.

You can see a list of district scores here.

You deserve to know what your taxpayer dollars are paying for and what public officials are doing on your behalf – I’ll work to report on irresponsible government spending in the Kansas City area and shed light on controversies that slow government down. And when you hear my voice in the morning, you know you’re getting everything you need to start your day. Email me at sam@kcur.org, find me on Twitter @samzeff or call me at 816-235-5004.
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