St. Louis, MO. (August 10, 2011) – The Missouri Charter Public School Association’s (MCPSA) initial review of preliminary MAP scores finds significant shining points for Missouri’s charter public schools.
In Kansas City, sixteen charter public schools improved upon their Communications Arts scores from last year. In addition, the scores show that six charter schools are outperforming the state average in Communications Arts testing. In math, nineteen Kansas City charter public schools improved on last year’s scores while seven Kansas City charter schools outperformed state averages.
In St. Louis, eight charter public schools improved on last year’s Communications Arts scores. Four charter schools performed at or above state averages in Communication Arts, while two charter schools performed above state averages in Math. Also, four charter public schools improved on their Math scores from last year.
Our initial review of preliminary scores also shows positive gains by charter public schools using the State’s MAP Index, a measurement of the school’s ability to move students out of the bottom two performing categories, “basic” and “below basic“. This is a key indicator for charter public schools to measure the progress of their students over time as in many cases charter public schools have a disproportionate number of at-risk students entering the school significantly below grade level.
In a statement, MCPSA Executive Director Douglas Thaman stated, “the schools demonstrating gains serve as a great example of charter public schools making a positive impact in their students’ lives. Although there are low performing charter public schools, with significant work to do, we support their ongoing efforts to reach levels of academic quality while recognizing that those who continue to struggle face uncertain renewal prospects and the risk of probation or closure.”
Dr. Thaman also stated, “two important tenets of charter school education are autonomy and accountability. The charter bargain of autonomy for accountability matters and produces favorable results. We stand ready to work with those schools committed to quality improvements, striving daily to improve, and not settling for the status quo. We look forward to the day when all of Missouri’s charter public schools are exceeding state averages.”
It’s important to keep in mind that performance on the state’s standardized tests is one of several indicators of school quality and also includes a school’s performance on a variety of growth-measured assessments, school climate, organizational and financial sustainability, and parent satisfaction.
As the state association, MCPSA strives to provide tools to help schools raise and maintain quality standards. The Association’s Quality Commitment Statement signed by our membership calls for schools to set clear, meaningful and measurable academic goals and use data to inform decisions and make improvements. It also calls on school leadership to embody the skills and passion necessary to lead both a high quality public school and successful nonprofit organization.
We know that our member schools are working daily to better the lives of their students through education. The parents who have entrusted Missouri’s charter public schools with the future of their children deserve nothing short of the quality education that was promised to them when they enrolled their child in a charter school.