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      School test scores need improvement

      Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education officials released this yearâ??s achievement data test scores.

      School officials said this yearâ??s data is not very accurate since this is a year of transition for the state accreditation and testing.

      Overall, Columbia Public Schoolsâ?? 2013 state test results, or MAP tests, remained about the same as previous years. Columbia minority and low income students are still posting low scores.

      While the numbers are based on a fluctuating system, Columbia Public Schools got 111.5 out of a possible 140 points on the new accountability system called M-SIP 5 which wonâ??t be used until next year.

      Columbia School Superintendent Dr. Chris Belcher said, â??I thought, oh my goodness. It looks like we got a C+. Thatâ??s what everybody will say. One, the data is not accurate. Two, it is a precursor for a couple of years down the road. It gives a chance to figure out what the new majors are and to adjust our system so that we can have the data that better supports this new model.â??

      Despite the accuracy of the numbers, Columbia Public Schools administrators have concerns for the low achievement of some minority subgroups. Some Columbia Public Schools MAP scores continue to be troubling as they remain below the state average.

      Columbia School Board President Christine King said, â??What these numbers always tell us is that we always can do better. We are always concerned about our subgroups and that achievement gap between the subgroup.â??

      The good news is that Columbia Public Schools students continue to perform well on ACT college entrance exams by outscoring their state and national peers. Students also outscored their state and global peers on Advanced Placement exams.

      Belcher compared this yearâ??s numbers to a football game where his district is playing in the preseason. Belcher says the regular season begins with a new assessment model thatâ??s still under development until next year.

      Jefferson City Public Schools officials said thereâ??s room for improvement on their achievement data from student testing.

      Administrators said there were some bright spots, but still a lot of work needs to be done.

      Jefferson City Public Schools minority and low income students continue to have low scores below the state average.

      Principals, teachers and staff members are studying the numbers as they work to improve student test scores for their entire student body.

      Jefferson City Public Schools officials said the achievement data is a snapshot of their districtâ??s performance.

      Jefferson City Public Schools spokesman David Luther said, â??It tells us some of the things that we are doing right, but it doesnâ??t give us the full picture. We have to look at other diagnostic tools that we use including the all important relationship between the teacher and the student and working how kids are coming along. Itâ??s one component of how you look at your overall performance.â??

      Jefferson City School administrators said this yearâ??s achievement data was not accurate as their students prepare for a new testing system called the common core standards model.

      School officials said next yearâ??s numbers will be more accurate.