January 17, 2008

SCR-I, Gorin R-III Honored by DESE for Distinction in Performance

Gorin R-III and Scotland County R-I were among the nearly 300 Missouri public schools to earn the state’s prestigious “Distinction in Performance” award for academic progress and achievement during the last school year (2006-07).

A total of 294 school districts qualified for the annual recognition, which is determined by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Of this year’s recipients, 247 are K-12 districts; 47 are K-8 districts. Last year, 235 districts qualified for the award.

“Education is the most important, critical and significant investment we can make in our future,” Gov. Matt Blunt said. “I commend Missouri educators and students for their hard work and progress. By maintaining a strong focus on achievement and accountability in all schools, we can help all students have a brighter future.

The Distinction in Performance award is based on the 14 academic performance standards that are now used in the accreditation of all public school districts. K-8 school districts are covered by a portion of these standards. The standards are based on scores from the state-mandated MAP tests, graduation rate, attendance, ACT scores, and other indicators.

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.

This marked the fourth consecutive year Scotland County R-I earned the distinction.

“This explains why it is important for our kids to strive to perform well on these spring tests,” said SCR-I Superintendent Dave Shalley. “But it also is a measure of how the school performs in other important areas such as the ACT, graduation rates and career placement. So it shows how well a school is performing in helping its students make the transition to college or a career.”

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.

In order to receive the distinction, a district must meet state requirements in six areas of the MAP testing. Students in grades 3-5, 6-8 and 9-11 scores in both Math and Communication Arts make up six of the 14 points of accreditation.

Scotland County ranked high in five of the six MAP areas, with 9-11 Math the lone area where the scores ranked below average. But the district made enough progress in reaching state goals that it easily met the standard.

Also included are the district’s ACT scores, advanced classes offered, career education courses, college placement, career education placement, graduation rate, attendance rate and subgroup achievement (ratings for how any minority groups in the district are performing).

As a K-8 district, Gorin R-III had met all seven requirements as shown on the 4th Cycle Annual Performance Report (APR).

The district met MAP requirements in grades 3-5 and 6-8 in both Math and Communication Arts. The district earned high status points in three of the four areas, with Communication Arts grades 6-8 the lone area the scores were below average. But the district’s progress in the area allowed it to meet the standards.

The district also ranked high in the other three categories of attendance, grade point average and subgroup performance.

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