Missouri strips Normandy school district of accreditation

Sept. 18, 2012
Schools have not seen significant rise in test scores for years

News release: The Missouri State Board of Education has reclassified the Normandy School District in St. Louis as unaccredited because of years of poor performance. A comparison of Normandy’s data shows their students’ 2012 Missouri Assessment Program test scores at the bottom of the state – below Kansas City and St. Louis school districts, which already are unaccredited.

“This decision was 20 years in the making,” said State Board member Mike Jones, who represents the St. Louis area. “How long do you stay in a model with a district where the children are not getting what they need? They don’t get a do over. It’s got to get better or you’ve got to do something else.”

The Normandy School District did not have sufficient points on its 2012 annual performance report or on any 4th Cycle annual performance report to be considered provisional. A district needs to meet nine standards for full accreditation, and six for provisional accreditation; a district meeting five or less standards is unaccredited. The State Board closely reviewed years of data on the district and heard from Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education staff about the lack of progress made at the school with provisional accreditation classification.

“This decision gives us the opportunity to walk closely beside the district to provide what is best for the kids," said Board Vice President Rev. Stan Archie. “If we are graduating kids who aren't quite there, that is not what we want for Missouri's children.”

Commissioner of Education Chris L. Nicastro expressed concern about the gap between minority achievement and non-minority achievement in the state.

"The minority achievement gap is everyone’s concern," said Nicastro. “We need to come together as a state, a community. We all need to address it. It is unacceptable that we continue to graduate students that are not ready to succeed."

By state law, an unaccredited school district has two full years to achieve accreditation by demonstrating a sustainable level of academic progress.

“Although the State Board cannot immediately intervene due to current state statute, the Department will aid the Normandy School District in earning, not just provisional, but full accreditation status. But it needs to be earned,” said State Board President Peter F. Herschend.

In other action, The Board unanimously voted for a provisionally accredited classification for the Hickman Mills C-1 School District near Kansas City. Hickman Mills met only seven out of the 14 state standards on their 2012 annual performance report. Hickman Mills State staff will continue to work with the district as they carry out a plan for improving student performance.

K-8 Districts Gorin R-III and Spickard R-II also were changed from accredited to provisionally accredited classification. K-8 districts must meet five out of seven state standards for full accreditation, four for provisional classification and three or less for unaccredited classification.


From The St. Louis Post-Dispatch: The Missouri State Board of Education has voted to revoke accreditation from the Normandy School District, following years without significant improvement in test scores. Normandy now has two years to show improvement, or face sanctions as severe as a state takeover. The district met just five of 14 standards on its annual performance report last month. This year, 22 percent of students tested in Normandy schools passed communication arts and 23 percent passed math, up from about 19 and 15 percent in 2007. Statewide, the passing rate is 55 percent.

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