Please VOTE DAVID on April 2

Student Learning – Part 1

I decided to run for Lindbergh’s school board primarily because of the decline in student learning in math and English as documented by Missouri’s annual end-of-year tests (MAP tests; footnote 1). The MAP tests are the only benchmarking of student learning that extends over several decades for all 500+ school districts in Missouri. I know there are some concerns about the MAP testing and the push by the Lindbergh school administration to see it replaced with another assessment tool; however, MAP tests are until now the only long-term external metrics that document student learning in third through eighth grades. I will address the “concerns” of the MAP tests later, and will also post more MAP tests results for individual elementary schools on this website.

One decade of math results are shown for all eighth-grade students in Lindbergh in figure 1. According to the guidelines published by the Department of Secondary Education (DESE; footnote 2) who manages the MAP tests, students who score high enough to fall in the proficient and advanced proficiency categories “… are prepared for the next grade level….”. Correspondingly, students who test in the light-red basic category “…need additional academic support to ensure success in the next grade level….”. And students who test into the dark-red below basic category “…need substantial academic support to be prepared for the next grade level….”. What caught my attention was the increasing number of students testing below proficient level since 2012. Shockingly, 64% of Lindbergh’s 8th-grade students tested below proficient level in 2023!

The decline in learning occurred over a number of years up to 2019, after which there was a greater decline in 2021 (testing was not done in 2020). The pandemic, which had a negative impact on student learning across the country, clearly amplified the decline already affecting student learning. Unfortunately, Lindbergh 8th-grade students fared worse immediately after the pandemic relative to neighboring school districts as evidenced by the differences between 2019 and 2021 results (figure 2). Lindbergh experienced a 26% decline in proficiency during the pandemic, in contrast to three other districts (Ladue, Kirkwood, Parkway) that declined 11% or less, and one district (Webster Groves) that did not experience any decline. Why is student learning in math declining in Lindbergh? And why did Lindbergh students decline so much more than neighboring districts during the pandemic?

As a former science professor and research scientist, I am concerned by the number of Lindbergh students testing below their grade level in math, and believe this decline needs to be reversed. I decided to help be a part of the solution by running for the school board rather than sit on the sideline and not help.

Please VOTE DAVID on April 2. And thank you for reading.
Footnote 1 –
Footnote 2 –…/map-grade-level-assessment-spring…