James V. Shuls

Last fall, I wrote about how Missouri’s education system was stuck in the middle and showing little sign of improvement. On a number of assessments, we rank right in the middle of the pack. This week, the most recent scores for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) were released. Once again, we rank in the middle.

The press release from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) suggests that Missouri’s scores are holding steady. That is true, our scores are relatively unchanged. But while we hold steady, many other states are showing significant learning gains. Missouri showed a net gain of 2.5 points on fourth- and eighth-grade reading and math. Meanwhile, Washington, D.C., gained a net of 22.2 points. Add D.C. to the 27 states that made larger gains than Missouri, placing us below the national average for growth.

We are still stuck and something must be done.

(Hat tip to Matt Ladner for the graph.)

About the Author

James Shuls
James Shuls
Distinguished Fellow of Education Policy

James V. Shuls is an assistant professor of educational leadership and policy studies at the University of Missouri–St. Louis and Distinguished Fellow in Education Policy at the Show-Me Institute.