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Reik defends, explains
R-3’s low test scores

by Stephanie Eaton
Landmark reporter

If Platte County residents look at the Platte County R-3 School District's End of Course (EOC) test results presented during a recent board of education meeting, they may be a little concerned over the scores.

According to EOC results, only 35.1 percent of Platte County R-3 eighth grade students placed proficient or advanced in mathematics.

However, Platte County R-3 Superintendent Dr. Mike Reik said these results do not accurately reflect the school system’s true student performance in math and would encourage residents to attend the October board meeting to get a better understanding of the school system's results.

During the Sept. 18 board meeting, school officials posted the results of the 2014 MAP/EOC Performance tests. The results allowed residents to see the percentage of students in the school district who are proficient or advanced in a content area or subject.

High School English II was the subject the school district in which R-3 students performed best.

According to the results, 82.2 percent of the students tested were proficient or advanced in English II compared to others students who took it from across the state.

Biology I was another higher scoring subject for the school district, with 81.1 percent of the students tested being considered proficient or advanced.
However, not all the results were in the 80 percentile.
Eighth grade students appeared to provide the school district with some of its lowest scores. According to the results, 35.1 percent of eighth grade students placed proficient or advanced in mathematics, 59.6 percent of eighth grade students placed proficient or advanced in English and 65.3 percent of eighth grade students place proficient or advanced in science.

According to Dr. Reik, some of these scores do not accurately reflect how the school district is doing compared to other school districts across the state. Reik said that R-3 allows some of its higher performing eighth grade math students to take Algebra I. Those students scores were reflected in the Algebra I scores and were not a part of the eighth grade EOC math scores, Reik said.

The Algebra I EOC scores said that 68.1 percent of the students who took the test were proficient or advanced in this subject. Reik said not all school districts in Missouri allow their eighth grade students to take Algebra I. Reik said some of the smaller school districts have all their students taking the eighth grade math test, where the R-3 School District does not.

Reik said it is because of factors like these that do not allow Platte County R-3 School officials to compare state test scores number to number with other school districts.

Reik said R-3 officials typically compare their results with other school districts that offer the same type of classes to their students. Reik said concerned parents can attend the October board meeting to receive a comprehensive review of the school system's assessment data.

Dr. Reik said he is extremely proud of the hard work the school system is providing to its students. He said the school district will review the test data and continue to develop a very specific action plan to help improve test scores. He said school officials will not stop reaching for success.

“Our goal is to be best in class,” Reik said.