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Missouri Releases 2022 APR Scores Under New MSIP 6 System

students explore hands-on science activitiesOn March 7, 2023, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) released its 2022 Annual Performance Reviews (APRs) for public schools statewide. DESE stressed the following points about the APR, which was created under new statewide standards:

  • It cannot be compared to previous APRs.
  • It contains data from the 2021-22 school year only.
  • It reflects the ongoing impact of the pandemic, including its disproportionate impact on some groups of students.
  • It separates scoring for achievement status and growth and emphasizes them equally.

The District saw some student academic growth in its APR, particularly in math, in which student growth was in the highest  “above average” category for improvement among schools statewide. There was also evidence that the District’s Black students performed better than other Black students in the state and region. One building maintained a strong achievement status; however, it did not demonstrate significant growth. The lack of growth significantly impacted this building's APR score.

Dr. Craig Larson, a DESE area supervisor and our district liaison, said, “Having worked with University City for the past five years, I am genuinely impressed with the effective practices the district has put into place. These practices have led to increased student academic growth and to closing achievement gaps. I am particularly impressed with the increased academic focus at University City High School and how that focus is changing the trajectories of students’ futures.”

The APR is part of the Missouri School Improvement Program (MSIP 6). This is the “state’s accountability system for reviewing and accrediting Local Education Agencies (LEAs).” It “outlines expectations for school practices and student outcomes, with the goal of each student graduating ready for success in college, career, and life.” The sixth version of the state’s accountability system is new this year, and this is considered a baseline year. There is the possibility that MSIP 6 may undergo some revision next year. The district will continue to partner with DESE to ensure that MSIP 6 accurately reflects district performance in a transparent and equitable manner. The APR data is from last year’s 2021-22 school year.
The growth in the District's 2022 APR indicates the District's model for education, which includes modern, rigorous and relevant instruction entwined with student well-being and excellent staff, is working amid a pandemic. Superintendent Sharonica Hardin-Bartley said, "We must accelerate student growth to meet important academic milestones. Also, we need to strengthen our multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS). Accelerating student growth to meet important academic milestones is the goal."
Last year, COVID-19 increased student absences, particularly from the Omicron variant in January and February of 2022. Urban areas with primarily Black populations were disproportionately affected by COVID-19. This led our district and other urban districts to lose attendance points in their APRs due to illness and quarantines. Hardin-Bartley said, "the good news is, absences from COVID-19 have stabilized this school year, and we have significantly more direct classroom instruction time with all of our students, which we hope will continue to accelerate academic growth."

"Yes, there is still work to be done," she said. "APRs utilize the standardized Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) and End-of-Course (EOC) assessments. They provide a snapshot of student academic performance on one day during the school year. Those scores reflect that more of our students need to progress into proficiency in subject areas. This is what they deserve."

Hardin-Bartley said, "We welcome parents to come visit our schools and talk to us about our modern, rigorous and relevant learning, our focus on well-being among students and staff, our excellent staff and our intense focus on student voice, social justice and equity, and we continue to partner with DESE and will always represent the needs and accomplishments of urban school districts using effective methods of improvement."

District leaders will dedicate a portion of the 7 p.m. March 16 board of education meeting at the McNair Administration Building (7700 Olive Boulevard) to present the results in more detail. Find the District’s 2021-22 APR results here. Here is a Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.