In 2011, MRH State Scores Climb Again
Maplewood Richmond Heights High School attained proficiency in both math and communication arts on the 2011 Missouri Assessment Program. It's the first time that has happened since 2006.
For the first time since 2005, the Maplewood Richmond Heights School District has achieved state-set proficiency goals in math, preliminary data from the Missouri Assessment Program show. As a district, it did not attain proficiency in communication arts, though individual schools attained proficiency in both categories.
The test, aimed at gauging whether students are performing at grade level, is a component of the federal No Child Left Behind law. The goal of the federal program is to have all students performing at grade level by 2014.
The data was made public Thursday by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
"We've had an uphill climb," said Dr. Linda Henke, the district's superintendent, on Thursday. Twelve years ago, the MRH School District was one point away from losing its accreditation with the state.
The journey since that time has been "disconcerting" at times, she said. She referenced math scores at Maplewood Richmond Heights Elementary School, which she said declined for several years because the curriculum wasn't being properly implemented.
But this year was different.
"The math went up a lot" throughout the district, Henke said. She identified three criteria necessary to that: the right people, the right curriculum and the right teaching skills.
"Now we have, I think, all those pieces together," Henke said.
Preliminary MAP Test Results
|2010 Reading||2011 Reading||2010 Math||2011 Math|
|Maplewood Richmond Heights High School||55.3||73||47.4||67.5|
|Maplewood Richmond Heights Middle School||59.9||65.5||50.4||55.4|
|Maplewood Richmond Heights Elementary School||56||58.1||48.4||66.8|
*The Annual Proficiency Target for math and reading is the percentage of students expected to score proficient or advanced on the state test in a given year.
See the full district MAP test scores on the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education website.
Among black students, math proficiency rose for the seventh straight year. It rose from 28.3 percent last year to 43.9 percent in 2011.
Among white students, proficiency rose for the second straight year. It rose from 63.1 percent last year to 75.1 percent in 2011.
Proficiency rose for students qualifying for free or reduced-cost lunches, from 37.6 percent last year to 48.1 percent in 2011.
In communication arts, students overall achieved proficiency. But because two categories of students within that total did not meet the required level—students qualifying for free or reduced lunch and students with disabilities—the district's overall proficiency in communication arts is identified in the data as not having been met.
Maplewood Richmond Heights High School attained proficiency in both communication arts and math for the first time since 2006.
Both attendance and graduation rates climbed in 2011. Attendance rose from 94.7 percent last year to 95.4 percent in 2011, while graduation rose from 91.1 percent last year to 93.3 percent in 2011.
In the past, MRH has compared its MAP scores with those of other districts it views as similar—Hancock Place, Affton and Valley Park among them, Henke said.
Now, Henke said, MRH can begin comparing its results with those from districts such as Pattonville and Parkway.
MRH High School and MRH Middle School have now moved off the list of schools in the district not meeting proficiency standards set by the state. Henke said she's confident the elementary school will be off the list next year.
Schools in the district are implementing an electronic portfolio program that allows students to track their progress over time, and many teachers hang work on the walls of the schools along with the rubrics with which they were assessed.
Henke said math improvement at the elementary school can be attributed in part to professional learning committees created by Principal Tony Arnold. The committees took a look at what was wrong with the school's math curriculum and worked to improve it.
"'I hope you are patting yourself on the back,'" Henke said she told Arnold earlier Thursday.
English scores also increased at the high school, she said, thanks in part to a series of one-on-one paper evaluations that students receive throughout the school year.
Before the 2012 MAP test, Henke said, principals will analyze the data. Henke said she didn't see as much improvement in the areas of history and science as she would have hoped.
And she said the district will continue its academic conference, at which teachers and students are awarded for their MAP accomplishments.
"I don't think we're celebrating academic success enough," she said.