Please VOTE DAVID on April 2

Student Learning – Part 3

Lindbergh has provided excellent education to past generations of students, is doing so now for many students, and can do so in the future. However, in order for this to remain true, the apparent decade-long decline in student learning needs to be reversed. Middle-school students have experienced a decline in math learning according to the results of the annual Missouri MAP test results. Shown in figure 1 are the test results of Sperreng and Truman middle-school students and the entire State of Missouri. Shown in figure 2 are the Lindbergh data normalized to the State data.

The Missouri data include test results from 500+ school districts and approximately 180,000 sixth-through eighth-grade students (~60k students in each grade). The Department of Secondary Education (DESE), who administers these tests, separates students’ numerical scores into four categories (Footnote 1). The percentage of students testing at proficient or advanced proficiency in math are displayed in green; students at basic or below basic proficiencies are displayed in red. The division between “proficient” and “basic” results are marked with the solid black line in the Missouri data in figure 1 and overlaid on the Sperreng and Truman data for reference.

I will highlight two observations of the data.

(1) In the Missouri data (far-right column of figure 1), the percentage of students below “proficient” level remained relatively constant between 2012-2014 and between 2016 to 2023. Data for 2015 is not included because the 2015 MAP Math tests were sufficiently different to other years that the results are not comparable and thus DESE does not release the data to the public.

(2) The percentage of Lindbergh students testing at proficient and advanced proficiency levels decreased from 2012 to 2019 (Figure 1). However, when normalized to the State averages, the number of proficient and advanced proficiency students was well above the State averages (Figure 2). However after 2018, all grades at both schools started to decline relative to the State averages. Pandemic-induced impact on student learning after 2020 clearly affected student learning in Lindbergh middle schools. In contrast, there were almost no changes in the already high percentages of Missouri middle-school students who scored below proficient levels during the pandemic.

Why have Lindbergh students’ MAP test scores changed especially since 2018? Is the change due to high teacher turnover? Change in curriculum? Change in amount of time devoted to math in-class instruction? Change in homework policy? Change in tutoring and support services? Change in preparation for the MAP tests? Or ….?

In a follow-up post, I will share a communication I recently received from a Lindbergh family. In their email they share their three children’s experiences in Lindbergh schools with some specific comments focused on math. I hope you will read it.

Please VOTE DAVID on April 2, and thank you for reading.


Footnote #1 – According to their guidelines, students who score high enough to fall in the light-green proficient and dark-green 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 in the dark-red below basic category “…need substantial academic support to be prepared for the next grade level….” (…/map-grade-level-assessment-spring….)