The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released the first test scores of the Common Core era, and while the results show strengths and weaknesses at first glance, educators say real progress will be hard to determine for a few years.
On average, 60 percent of students taking the new standardized exams scored “proficient” or “advanced” in language arts and 40 percent did so in math. The results also showed an achievement gap for students considered minorities or low-income, as their results trailed other students by an average of 13 percent.
The results show possible areas for schools to work on with their students, but those schools may find it more difficult make progress in the short term. Because this is the first year using the Common Core test standards, Missouri Schools can’t effectively compare results with tests from previous years which used a different system. In addition, the Missouri Legislature voted last spring to change test standards again. In all, schools will administer four standardized tests to four different standards by 2017; for schools that need to show progress over years to receive or improve accreditation, this creates a problem.