SHOW ME THE RECORDS: School districts annual performance report

Monday, August 20, 2012 | 2:27 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Most government records are open to the public at no charge. These records give citizens the opportunity to find out what's going on, how their elected officials are spending tax dollars, how the various departments within a governmental entity work and other valuable information needed to make strong decisions for the future. Each week, the Missourian highlights a government record that is available to the public.

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The records: The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education published the 2011 Annual Performance Report of the Missouri school districts.

Why you'd want them: The report displays information by school district and includes grade level indicators for various subjects, ACT scores and college placement rates, among others. The report helps parents and teachers understand the strong and weak points of the school districts they are interested in and whether the districts made progress from the previous year.

Where you get the records: Go to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’ s website at Click on the "District Info" tab on the top menu. The screen will display four quadrants, of which the top right-hand one includes Summary Reports. The Annual Performance Report (APR) is the second link from the top. Once you click on the “K-12” or “K-8” link, you can scroll down on a pop-up list and choose the school district that interests you. The Missourian also has a sortable database of 2012 MAP scores available.

How much it will cost: These records are free.

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