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Missouri educators say MAP tests are unfair

September 19, 2003
By: Christine McCarty
State Capital Bureau

Missouri educators are saying that schools are failing MAP tests not because of their students but because of testing qualifications and procedures. Christine McCarty has the story.

Story:
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Educators say that schools are failing MAP tests due to unequal testing.

Tina McManus, Director of Research and Assesment in the Springfield School District says that modifications need to be made because school districts aren't passing.

Actuality:McNamus
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Contents: Among the top 45 largest districts in the state which encompasses over half the students in the state, by the way, none of them met adequate yearly progress in both categories.

Under the No Child Left Behind Act, schools' populations are broken down into subgroups -- black students, poor students or white students. A subgroup must have at least 30 students for the school to particapate in testing. Educators say smaller schools are passing because they don't have enough students in a subgroup -- not because of their merit.

Educators say in order to fix unequal testing, districts that have more subgroups shouldn't be penalized because they qualify.

Schools recieve annual performance reports in October and have until November to review MAP score data and report errors. Assistant Commissioner, Division of School Improvement, Bert Schulte says that schools should review the data and act accordingly.

Actuality:
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Contents: It's a matter of looking at the student's performance thats reported and making decisions at the local level about what can be done to impact that students performance.

Errors that may occur in the annual performance reports will be changed and a final annual performance report will be issued.

McMamus says that no schools will be penalized this year.

Actuality:McMamus
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Contents: You're only considered not having met adequate yearly progress if you fail two years in a row, this is only the first year so none of our schools have been designated at this time as not making adequate yearly progress.

If Title I schools don't meet adequate yearly progress next year, they will have to go into school improvement. Under No Child Left Behind, penalties such as allowing students to transfer to better performing schools and offering tutoring services will be enforced. Schools that are not Title I schools will be identified but will not be penalized.