Reimagining Education

Why Education Reform?

Got School Choice

The data is clear – Missouri’s students need real, systemic policy change.

The Children’s Education Alliance of Missouri believes that education reform is necessary in order to ensure that Missouri’s children are ready to be successful in the 21st century.

If you agree, sign our pledge of support or donate today!

CEAM believes that without policy changes focused on accountability and transparency, educator effectiveness, and quality parental choice, Missouri’s public schools will continue to fall short of providing Missouri’s students with the high-quality education they deserve.

Read our recommendations POLICY PRINCIPLES

Annual Performance Report (APR) and Missouri Assessment Program (MAP)

The release of Missouri’s Annual Performance Report and Missouri Assessment Program scores are intended to give the public a look at how our state’s public schools are performing. Take the following, for example:

  • Saint Louis Public Schools went from 18.95% of students on grade level in math in 2014 to 15.8% in 2015. The district had a similar proficiency in language arts scores with only 1 in 4 students on grade level. Source: MO DESE
  • Columbia Public Schools has one of the state’s highest achievement gaps, with just 12% of African-American children on grade level in math while 32.3% of white children are performing on grade level. The achievement gap in reading is slightly higher. Source: DESE
  • In the Kansas City Missouri School District, 34.9% of children do not graduate. However, it’s not just the urban districts that are failing to graduate students on time; in the more affluent suburb of Independence, 14.4% of children drop out before graduation day. In rural Caruthersville, 12.2% dropped out. Source: DESE

According to a recent report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, 1 in 6 children who are not reading proficiently by the end of third grade do not graduate high school on time.

Missouri Achievement Gap

The achievement gap across the state of Missouri is alarming.

According to the Missouri Report Card issued by Grad Nation, Missouri graduates fewer low income students and students of color than white and/or higher income  counterparts by up to 15% as seen below

  • Graduation Gap15.6 % fewer African American Students than White Students
  • 10.5 % fewer Hispanic Students than White Students
  • 11.6% few Low Income students  than Non-Low Income


Without real, systemic policy change, the achievement gap between these groups will likely continue to grow wider.

College and Career Readiness

More than half of Missouri’s students are going to struggle when they enroll in college math and science courses, according to a Report issued by ACT called “The Condition of College and Career Readiness in Missouri- 2015

The study reports that just 44% of Missouri’s 2015 graduating high school seniors received the skills during their K-12 experience that prepared them for college math courses. The number is worse for science, where just 42% were found to be ready for what they will face in university science labs.

Overall, just 1 in 4 of Missouri students who took the test in 2015 were ready for college in all four subject areas tested on the ACT.

These numbers are relatively unchanged from previous years and reflect a tradition of underperforming public schools. The scores are unchanged because the way education is delivered to Missouri students is unchanged.

If Missouri wants its students to graduate high school ready for a productive future, we must change the state’s education system and parents must be allowed to choose the education that they determine is best for their child.

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