Helpful Tools
Show Me - The Spending
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Show Me - The Grades

Know how your schools score?

The latest education research confirms what common sense has always told us: Kids learn better when their parents have more choices. And those choices can’t be made without accurate information. That’s why the Show-Me Institute has developed and maintained this set of free and useful tools for comparing public schools across the state. Students, parents, school administrators, teachers, legislators, and other citizens should be empowered to better understand academic performance in Missouri.

The “Show-Me: The Grades” tool comprises four useful, downloadable* applications. First, a school “report card” generator allows users to graphically compare a selected school’s academic performance to that of its district average and the state average. Second, a “school ranker” permits users to compare a selected school’s academic rank to the rankings of other schools in Missouri. Third, a “district ranker” enables users to compare their school district’s academic rank and per-student spending to the rankings of other districts across the state. Also, be sure to check out our new interactive map of school and district rankings!

These three Microsoft Excel documents use academic performance data collected by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) for each of the 559 public and publicly chartered school districts and for each of the approximately 2,000 individual schools within those districts. Academic rank is measured by the weighted average of each school’s MAP (Missouri Assessment Program) index score, which is broken down by school, grade level, test (mathematics or communications), and academic year. MAP test scores are divided into four categories by DESE, namely, “advanced,” “proficient,” “basic,” and “below basic.”

“Show-Me: The Grades” also provides details about per-student funding in each public school district. Data on per-student funding by school district was collected by dividing aggregate district funding (a combination of federal, state, and local spending) by total district student enrollment. Full data and computation details are provided in a helpful resource guide on the Show-Me Institute’s website.

The author of “Show-Me: The Grades,” Justin Hauke, was formerly a policy analyst at the Show-Me Institute and a graduate of Washington University’s Olin Business School. He also has an undergraduate degree in economics and mathematics from the University of Texas at Austin.

“Missouri public school performance needs to be more transparent,” Hauke said. “When families are concerned about the education their children are receiving, or if they are considering moving to a new neighborhood, they should be able to easily access performance information. They may want to know how their current or new school compares to others in their district, and to the state as a whole. We wanted to make finding that information as easy as possible. ‘Show-Me: The Grades’ saves parents the legwork of wading through district and state education websites in search of answers.”

If you’re not sure how to use “Show-Me: The Grades,” be sure to read our helpful documentation — a PDF file containing a full explanation and documentation of the tools.

*Note: These tools are updated annually as DESE makes new data available. As of the 2010 update, our files are in the Excel 2007 format, so users of earlier versions of Excel software should look to this page on Microsoft’s website for an update that will enable them to view these tools.