South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

Mehlville expects to receive Distinction in Performance recognition for 2009-2010

Composite ACT scores rise at both district high schools.

The Mehlville School District is expected to qualify for its fifth consecutive Distinction in Performance Award from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, according to preliminary data released last week by the state.

Mehlville met all 14 accreditation standards on its preliminary Annual Performance Report, or APR, based on its academic achievement in the 2009-2010 school year. DESE released preliminary APRs for Missouri school districts Sept. 13. Reports will be finalized next month, according to a DESE news release.

The APR is part of the Missouri School Improvement Program, or MSIP, which is the foundation of the state’s accreditation process for schools. The 14 performance standards cover such measures as test scores — ACT, state-mandated Missouri Assessment Program tests and new end-of-course tests — attendance and graduation rates.

A K-12 school district must meet at least nine of the 14 accreditation standards for academic performance to be fully accredited and at least six to be provisionally accredited. A district that meets five or fewer standards may be classified as unaccredited by the state Board of Education.

This would mark the fifth consecutive year Mehlville has received a Distinction in Performance Award and the seventh time in the past nine years that the district has achieved the recognition. Preliminary and, eventually, final APRs can be viewed in their entirety at


While the district likely met all state standards last school year, it recently learned it did not make adequate yearly progress, or AYP, in 2010 under the guidelines of the 2001 federal No Child Left Behind act.

District officials discussed current MAP and ACT scores last week with the Board of Education.

The goal of NCLB is to have 100 percent of U.S. students perform at the proficient or advanced levels on state tests by 2014.

Therefore, districts must meet annually increasing proficiency targets in communication arts and math to achieve AYP.

For a Missouri school or school district to meet AYP, proficiency targets in both communication arts and math must be met on the MAP test by all student subgroups.

If a subgroup in one school does not meet the NCLB-mandated proficiency target on one of the two subjects, the school — along with the entire school district — does not meet AYP that year. This year’s proficiency targets were 67.4 percent of students performing at the proficient or advanced levels in communication arts and 63.3 percent of students performing at proficient or advanced levels in math.

Oakville Senior High School and Beasley, Blades, Hagemann, Oakville and Rogers elementary schools achieved AYP on the 2010 MAP test.

The six schools achieved AYP because they met the annual proficiency targets for communication arts and math across eight student subgroups: All Students, Asian/Pacific Islander, Black, Hispanic, White, Students with an Individualized Education Program, Students Receiving Free or Reduced Price Lunches and Students with Limited English Proficiency.

Overall, 62.2 percent of Mehlville students performed at the proficient or advanced level in communications arts on the 2010 MAP test, and 61.1 percent performed at the proficient or advanced level in math.

While those scores fell short of the annual NCLB-mandated proficiency targets, they exceeded the state averages of 53.6 percent for communication arts and 52.7 percent for math. They also improved over the district’s 2009 MAP test scores of 57.7 percent in communication arts and 59.4 percent in math. In both communication arts and math, the district saw gains in all but one subgroup, meeting AYP in four of eight subgroups in 2010.

“What I found that stood out most noticeably to me this year was we were trending kind of toward flat scores in communication arts. For some reason … our communication arts scores were better in elementary school this year, and they’re making some significant gains at the high school level. Middle school I think needs a little bit of work,” Assistant Superintendent-Supervision of Instruction Vicki VanLaere told the board last week. “We trended downward in elementary math, which is kind of unusual for us. I can’t answer why, but that’s what we’re doing.”

Superintendent Terry Noble noted elementary school math scores also trended downward statewide this year and said Mehlville’s secondary math scores were more positive.

“Quite frankly the finished product is really what happens at the high school,” he said. “If you see good movement there you can feel good about what you’re doing down below. We’ve made some improvements in our high school math curriculum, and it’s really making a difference there.”

Regarding AYP, VanLaere said, “We made it in certain schools, and in certain areas. Some areas we made (AYP) that we didn’t make last year and vice versa. But you’re looking at different subgroups of kids every year. So you’re comparing two different groups year after year.”

Noble said, “The one subgroup I always look at is ‘All Students.’ How did we fare on that? We made adequate yearly progress in ‘All Students.’ When you get into the subgroups, we don’t. Of course, No Child Left Behind is about the subgroups. That’s when you try to shorten the achievement gap with minority students. That’s what the subgroups are about, dividing people up in that fashion. But the more subgroups you have, the more opportunities you have to fail.”

Noble said he hopes Congress changes the NCLB act when it comes up for reauthorization because its standards are statistically impossible to meet.

Board member Micheal Ocello asked VanLaere last week, “I know we didn’t make (AYP) this year, but did we do better overall than we did the previous year?”

“We made it if I recall last year in one additional subgroup districtwide,” she said. “However, when the target went up, even though we made gains, it was not enough for us to make it in those subgroups … I think personally our scores went up. Up is good.”

Ocello said, “That’s what I’m saying. Regardless of whether or not we made it, the point is as a district overall, we got better?”

“Yes we did,” VanLaere said.

Composite 2010 ACT scores increased at both of the district’s high schools over 2009.

Mehlville Senior High School earned a composite ACT score of 21.3 out of 36, up from its 2009 composite score of 21.2 but slightly below the state composite score of 21.6. Sixty-one percent of Mehlville High students took the ACT in 2010, the same percentage as 2009.

Oakville Senior High earned a composite ACT score of 22.8, up from last year’s composite score of 22.6. Seventy-five percent of Oakville High students took the test this year, up from 61 percent in 2009.

The district overall achieved a composite ACT score of 22.2, up from last year’s composite score of 22. Mehlville saw increases in its math, reading and science ACT scores and a decrease in its English score.

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