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St. Louis – 2022

2022 City Studies

Summary of Findings

This summary highlights major findings about students’ academic performance in public K-12 schools in St. Louis, Missouri. Performance is measured by one-year learning gains or growth students made from one school year to the next.1 We benchmark St. Louis students’ growth against the state average growth and then compare the progress of charter and magnet school students with that of similar traditional district school students within St. Louis, accounting for student characteristics.


Overall:

Students in St. Louis exhibited similar growth in 2017-18 and 2018-19 compared to the statewide average student in both reading and math.

Sector:

St. Louis magnet school students registered greater reading and math gains than the state average in both years. Students in St. Louis charter schools were on par with the statewide average student in both subjects in 2017-18, while exhibiting stronger growth in 2018-19. Traditional district students in St. Louis showed weaker growth in reading and math across the two years.

Shifting the focus to sector comparison within St. Louis across the two growth periods, St. Louis charter and magnet schools outperformed district schools in reading and math. Between magnet and charter sector, magnet students showed stronger growth in both subjects than the charter students in St. Louis.

A deeper dive into St. Louis student growth for the period ending in Spring 2019 reveals the following findings:

Charter School Type:

St. Louis charter schools affiliated with a Charter Management Organization (CMO) grow similarly to the state average in both ELA and math. Students attending St. Louis charter schools affiliated with an Education Management Organization (EMO) exhibit similar growth in ELA and weaker gains in math compared to the state average. The progress of St. Louis independent charter schools is on par with the state average in both subjects. Within St. Louis charter sector, EMO-affiliated charters make significantly weaker gains in math compared to independent charter schools.

Race/Ethnicity:

Overall, St. Louis black students make similar learning gains in both subject compared to the state average black student. Breakout analyses by sector suggest that charter and magnet school black students outperform average black student in the state in both subjects. St. Louis traditional district school black students show weaker growth in both subjects compared to the state average. Sector comparisons within St. Louis indicate black students enrolled in charter and magnet schools post stronger growth than district school black students in both subjects.

Hispanic students in St. Louis overall do not grow differently in reading or math compared to the average Hispanic student in the state. School sector breakout analyses reveal that Hispanic students in St. Louis charter schools make greater progress in reading and similar progress in math, relative to the average Hispanic student statewide. Hispanic students enrolled in St. Louis magnet and district schools make similar learning gains compared to the average Hispanic student in the state in both subjects. Cross-sector comparisons within St. Louis indicates stronger growth among charter school Hispanic students than growth among district school Hispanic students in reading. No significant difference in reading growth is found between students in St. Louis magnet and district schools. For math, charter and magnet students grow similarly than their counterparts in traditional school district students in St. Louis.

Poverty, ELL, and Special Education:

St. Louis students living in poverty show the same patterns across reading and math. Overall, they are on par with the average student in poverty in the state. St. Louis charter and magnet students in poverty exhibit stronger growth, while St. Louis district school students in poverty make weaker progress than the average student in poverty statewide. Breakout analyses by sector within St. Louis indicates that compared to the district students in poverty, charter and magnet students in poverty make greater learning gains in both subjects.

English Language Learners (ELLs) in St. Louis, overall and regardless of the sector of their schools, make similar learning gains in both subjects compared to the state average of ELLs. Comparisons of sectors within St. Louis reveal similar growth in both subjects among ELLs at charter when they are compared to traditional district ELLs. ELLs at St. Louis magnet schools post stronger growth than ELLs at traditional district schools in both subjects.

St. Louis students receiving special education services overall exhibit similar growth in reading and math. Sector breakout analysis indicate that special education students in St. Louis charter schools outperform the average student in special education in the state in math, while grow similarly in reading. Special education students enrolled in St. Louis magnet schools outpace the average special education statewide in reading and math. St. Louis district students in special education show similar learning gains in both subjects than the state average of students in special education.

Comparisons of sectors within St. Louis show charter school students in special education exhibit similar growth in reading, while posting stronger gains in math than district school students in special education. Magnet students in special education outperform traditional district school students in special education in both subjects.

Gender:

Both male and female students in St. Louis overall post similar reading and math growth than the average student of the same gender in the state.

Breakout analyses by sector suggest that male students in St. Louis charter schools outperform the average male student in the state in reading, while show similar gains in math. Male students in St. Louis magnet schools register stronger reading and math growth when compared to the state average of male students. Male students enrolled in traditional district schools grow less than state average of male students in both subjects. Within St. Louis, charter and magnet male student exhibit stronger growth in both subjects compared to male students at traditional district schools.

Female students enrolled in St. Louis charter and magnet schools make greater learning gains in both subjects compared to the average female student in the state. Female students in district schools in St. Louis grow on par with the average female student in the state in reading or math. Comparisons of sectors within St. Louis reveal stronger growth in both subject among female students at charter and magnet schools when they are compared to average female student in traditional district schools in St. Louis.

1 In estimating the reading growth of high school students for the period ending in Spring 2018, we use student test scores from the 2015-16 school year as starting scores because there is a noncontiguous grade reading test (ie., no reading test taken in grade 9).  


Presentation of Findings


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