Reimagining Education

Do we know how Missouri is doing on career and college readiness?

We know that Missouri has a lot of work to do when it comes to teaching our children the basics.

Less than half of our students are proficient in reading and/or math.

Despite this, we still have about a 90 percent graduation rate.

So how are our schools doing when it comes to actually preparing our kids to succeed in college or the workforce?

As with many questions about education in Missouri, that is a hard question to answer because the data is either hard to find or not reported at all.

Here is what we do know:

  • The state is working to make the most of the new Perkins V federal law on workforce development.
  • About 65 percent of our students have taken at least one Career and Technical Education (CTE) course.
  • Career connected learning is a key part of the proposed next version of the Missouri School Improvement Plan (MSIP).
  • 75,082 high school students and 53,455 middle school students created Missouri Connections Portfolios.
  • 8,765 high school students earned Industry Recognized Credentials and 5,581 7th and 8th-grade students attended STEAM events this year.
  • Twenty-one percent of high school graduates have to take remediation courses in college (thankfully this number is declining each year).
  • About 76 percent of college freshmen return to school the following year.
  • The average college freshman GPA is only 2.89.
  • Only 36.1 percent of Missouri high school students who entered college in 2012 had earned a bachelor’s degree by 2018. Seventeen percent earned an associate’s degree, and 2.4 percent earned a graduate or professional degree within six years.

These data points give us some information, but fail to paint a full picture.

A new report from Achieve examines college and career-ready outcomes across the country.

That report highlights the fact that Missouri is still far behind in reporting data that matters.

Achieve looked at 7 key indicators of success:

College- and Career -Ready (CCR) Coursework Completion

  • Missouri has a recommended CCR program but does not report how many students complete it

9th Grade On Track

  • Missouri does not define or report how many 9th graders are on track to graduate based on credit completion.

College- and Career-Ready Assessments

  • Missouri does not report at the state level the percentage of students meeting subject-area proficiency benchmarks.

College- and Career- Ready Measures

  • Missouri provides multiple opportunities for students to demonstrate they are prepared for postsecondary success. These include earning qualifying scores on AP or IB courses, dual credit, or industry-recognized credentials. Missouri does not report an aggregate value for the percentage of students meeting a CCR measure.

Earned College Credit in High School

  • Missouri reports the percentage of high school graduates scoring a 3+ on an AP exam. Last year 12 percent of our high school graduates had achieved this goal.

Post-secondary Enrollment

  • Missouri reports the percentage of 2017 graduates enrolling in two- and four-year-, public and private institutions of higher education both in state and out of state in the 180 days following graduation. The data also includes those enrolling in a Postsecondary (Technical) Institution. A total of 66.7 percent of high school graduates enrolled in post-secondary education.

Missouri does NOT provide any data for subgroup performance for any of these measures. As a result, it is very hard to determine how well we are actually serving individual subgroups and if any groups are being left behind.

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