December 21, 2006

SCR-I Among Schools Recognized For ‘Distinction in Performance’

More than 200 Missouri school districts have earned the state’s “Distinction in Performance” award for their academic achievement and progress during the last school year (2005-06), state education officials announced today.

A total of 235 school districts qualified for the Distinction in Performance award, presented annually by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Of this year’s recipients, 188 are K-12 districts; 47 are K-8 districts. Last year, 180 districts qualified for the award.

“Providing a quality education for Missouri students is an important responsibility for local schools. I congratulate these schools that have worked hard to provide a strong education to students and challenge all Missouri schools to strive toward gaining this distinction,” said Gov. Matt Blunt.

“Earning Distinction in Performance is a significant accomplishment and a prestigious honor. A school district must be performing at a high level or making steady progress in all areas of academic achievement. This award is a point of pride for students, teachers, administrators and the entire community. I commend all of this year’s recipients,” said Commissioner of Education D. Kent King.

The Distinction in Performance award is based on the 14 academic performance standards that are now used in the accreditation of K-12 school districts. K-8 districts use a portion of these standards.

For the past five years, the award was based on 12 standards. The criteria were modified this year to reflect changes in the state’s MAP testing program. A standard also has been added to provide a measure of “adequate yearly progress,” which is one of the requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind act.

SCR-I met all 12 criteria to earn the distinction each of the last three years, said SCR-I Superintendent Dave Shalley.

To qualify for the award this year, K-8 districts had to meet 6 of 7 performance standards, including all of those based on the results of MAP tests. K-12 districts had to meet 13 out of 14 standards, including all of the MAP-based measures.

Beginning this year, a district may be recognized for distinction based on high achievement or on improvement. To meet the “high achievement” standard, a district must meet at least 12 of 13 performance indicators at a prescribed level.

Under the state’s accreditation process, known as the Missouri School Improvement Program (MSIP), each school district is evaluated at least once every five years. The Distinction in Performance award is based on the same criteria used in the accreditation process, but it provides an annual confirmation and recognition of a district’s consistent performance.

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