St. Louis College Prep sees growth, focus areas in MAP scores

2015-16 scores prove exceptional academic growth

Scholars at St. Louis College Prep earned consistently increasing test scores on the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) evaluative test in 2016.

The biggest gains came in mathematics where the school’s scholars showed dramatic improvements, increasing from 21 percent proficient and advanced in 2014-15 to 33 percent proficient and advanced last year, far exceeding the school’s internal goal of reaching a 26 percent proficient goal.

“These scores are a testament to our staff’s dedication to ensuring that any child in St. Louis City has access to a quality education,” said St. Louis College Prep Executive Director Mike Malone.  He noted that the school’s longer day and longer year allowed scholars more time to focus on succeeding in their education. “Couple that with exceptional, dedicated teachers and our growing administrative staff and you create a formula for success.”

Malone said scholars performed especially well on the Algebra End of Course exam, noting that while the assessment is normally taken by ninth grade students, all 14 of the St. Louis College Prep eighth grade scholars who took the exam last year passed with a proficient or advanced score.

English Language Arts (ELA) scores also showed improvements, increasing from 30 percent proficient and advanced to 32 percent proficient and advanced, but fell short of the school’s goal of 38 percent.

“While we fell short of our goal, we are still very proud of our scholars’ continued growth in ELA,” said Malone. “We are implementing a number of plans to ensure that our scholars can successfully reach our goals this year.”

Those plans include weekly visits to classrooms by teaching coaches and school administrators, a larger focus on educational content, a collaborative review of cycle plans and lesson plans, and more professional development tailored to individual teacher needs.

“Those plans will also help turn around our science scores, the one area where our scholars saw a decrease from last year’s scores,” said Malone, noting that science MAP scores decreased from 21 percent proficient and advanced in 2014-15 to 16.5 percent proficient and advanced in 2015-16.  “It is certainly something we are focused on improving this year.”

The dip in science scores mirrors a declining trend statewide, where fifth and eighth grade science scores have been steadily declining since 2014.

State officials warned not to read too much into year-to-year changes in math and ELA scores, noting that the content of the test had changed in 2016 making true comparisons difficult.

“A better indicator of just how well our scholars are doing comes from the NWEA scores, which show the average number of years of academic growth our scholars gained last year,” said Malone.  “Students make progressive increases in standardized test results the longer they attend St. Louis College Prep.”

Those scores, depending on grade level and subject matter, largely range from 1.1 years of growth to 2.5 years of growth with an average of 1.45 years of growth across all grades and subject areas.

Since its inception in 2011, South City Preparatory Academy has devoted its efforts to creating a school environment that places young scholars on an aggressive, advanced course toward current and future success.

This bedrock principle is put into practice by offering a rigorous curriculum that places scholars on a path that is designed to see them 'to and through college.' 

“We are proud of the progress our scholars are making, however, we will not allow ourselves to be complacent,” said Malone. “Our goal is that 100 percent of our scholars are prepared for college and we still have a long way to go.”