State begins new way of rating schools

This year Missouri school districts are evaluated under different standards adopted by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

The new report card for school districts is still called an annual performance report but it measures and rates school districts in different ways.

The new standards rate districts on the percentage of points earned in various categories, including state standardized tests, attendance, and graduation rates.

Accreditation of districts also will be based on the percentage of possible points earned.

Under the new standard rating systems, the North Callaway R-1 School District and the South Callaway R-2 School District had the highest scores.

The North Callaway School District earned a rating of 129 of 140 possible points, giving it a rating of 92.1 percent of possible points earned.

The South Callaway School District had a rating of 128.5 of 140 possible points, earning it a rating of 91 percent of possible points earned.

The Fulton School District had a rating of 110 of 140 possible points. It received a rating of 78.6 percent of possible points earned.

The New Bloomfield R-3 School District earned a rating of 105 of 140 possible points, giving it a rating of 75 percent of possible points earned.

Larger school districts in Central Missouri, such as Jefferson City and Columbia, had similar or lower ratings than Callaway County schools.

For example, the Jefferson City School District had a rating of 108 of 140 possible points, giving it a rating of 77.1 percent of possible points earned.

The Columbia School District had a rating of 111.5 of 140 possible points, earning it a rating of 79.6 percent of possible points earned.

Each district received points for various categories. One category is the district’s graduation rate.

New Bloomfield, South Callaway, North Callaway and Jefferson City school districts all received 30 points based on their graduation rates.

Fulton received 24 points for its graduation rate and Columbia had 28.5 points for its graduation rate.

In the attendance category, school districts in New Bloomfield, South Callaway, Jefferson City and Columbia each received 7.5 points.

North Callaway had 10 points and Fulton had six points.

State accreditation of school districts will be based on the percentage of points earned in each rating category.

Missouri Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro said the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will wait until after the districts have at least three years of data accumulated under the new rating system before changing a district’s accreditation.

Based on the new standards, the ratings of Callaway County schools — as well as other schools in Central Missouri — are in no immediate danger of losing accreditation.

Under the new scale, districts rated above 70 percent would be accredited. Those rated from 50 percent to 69.9 percent would receive provisional accreditation and unaccredited schools would have a rating from 0 percent to 49.9 percent.

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