Between 2000 and 2010 Missouri’s older population increased more rapidly than the state population overall.According to recently released 2010 Census data that now include age cohorts, the Missouri population age 65 and over increased by 11 percent over the decade and those 85 and over increased by 15 percent. Overall, Missouri’s population grew by 7% between 2000 and 2010. In 2010, nearly 840,000 Missourians (14%) were over 65 in 2010 and nearly 114,000 (2%) were over 85 years old. Two maps show the relative concentration of older Missourians by county. These increases do not reflect the impact of the soon to be retiring “Baby Boom” generation. Moreover, the interrelationship with other demographic factors is complex. OSEDA will be publishing additional reports in the next few weeks. To view the overall Missouri 2010 demographic profile visit http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml
Why are Policy Makers concerned about Student Growth Models?
Student growth models have become a topic of interest to many educational policy makers because they track students’ academic progress over time—they are a measure of learning. Student growth models are statistical estimates used to assess the progress students are making toward being “proficient” in certain subject areas. They are also used to identify the amount of academic progress a student achieves between multiple measurement points relative to their peers. The use of student growth models represents a departure from how the state has previously viewed standardized assessment results from the Missouri Assessment Program test (commonly referred to as the MAP test). Historically, a status measure was used to illustrate the achievement level of students at only one point in time during their academic school year.
The student growth model approach allows the academic progress that a student exhibits over time to be expressed as a percentile. This student growth percentile (SGP) “examines a student’s current achievement relative to their academic peers...who have walked the same achievement path in the past1.” This measure incorporates and also controls for the student’s previous years’ scores. A student with an SGP of 44 has shown academic growth at or above 44% of all other students within their cohort.
For example, the chart titled ‘Median MAP Student Growth Percentile by School Pct. Minority Students (all grades 4-8)’ displays the median student growth percentile2 of students in communication arts and mathematics relative to the percentage of minority students in their schools. In this chart, it would appear that there is a significant decrease in student growth for children in schools with a high percentage of minority students.
The next chart, titled ‘Median MAP Student Growth Percentile by School Percentage Free or Reduced Lunch (all grades 4-8)’ shows a significant negative relationship between school-level poverty (pct. of students receiving free or reduced price lunch) and student academic growth. Since we know that poverty and minority status are interrelated, these two charts demonstrate that the meaningfulness of such comparative frameworks depends on the completeness of the model and the extent to which other important variables are taken into account.
Although, the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act required states to meet adequate yearly progress3 (AYP) targets on an annual basis, student growth models are becoming more frequently used by states in conjunction with status measures to illustrate the academic progress students have made from one year to the next.
Consequently, some policy makers have taken an interest in growth models because they feel that these measures can help schools understand the trajectory of their improvement in addition to their proficiency status at a particular point in time. Thus, growth models can help inform the impact, over time, of changes in instructional practices.
1 Betenbenner, D. (March 2009). A Primer on Student Growth Percentiles. The Center for Assessment.
2 The median student growth percentile is identified as the middle score in a distribution of scores ranked from highest to lowest. Medians are similar to averages because they can provide insight as to whether students in schools are growing at small, usual or rapid rates.
3 Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) – is an accountability measure established under the NCLB Act to help states determine if schools are meeting academic content standards on state standardized tests.
Savings during 2009 back-to-school sales tax holiday related to location
The good news is that 62 counties, as well as St. Louis City, did participate. That meant consumers could save not only the 4.225 percent state sales tax, but the relevant local taxes as well. In addition to traditional items such as pencils, notebooks, clothing and shoes, the tax holiday included computers, software and computer peripherals.
Midwestern families with students in grades K-12 expect to spend just over $600 on back-to-school purchases this year, says a survey conducted for the National Retail Federation (NRF). For back-to-college purchases, the figure is about $680. By comparison, the national averages are $550 and $620, respectively. Americans will spend $47.5 billion on back-to-school and back-to-college shopping, the NRF forecasts.
The Impact of the Economic Recession on Community College Enrollment in the State of Missouri
Since December 2007, the U.S. economy has been classified as in a recession. According to economists, a recession is “a broad-based and protracted downturn in economic activity”1. The devastating collapse of the automobile industry and an unprecedented number of housing foreclosures, coupled with a significant loss of jobs in various sectors has contributed to the downward spiral of economic activity over the last two years. Steven Bushong, writer for the Chronicle of Higher Education, says, “the downturn in the economy has coincided with enrollment increases at many community colleges2.”Consequently, the scarcity of employment opportunities and fear of job insecurities have forced individuals who were long time members of the workforce that recently lost their jobs to enroll in two year institutions. In addition, persons in their early 20’s and recent high school graduates have also chosen to enroll in community colleges in addition to, or as an alternative to workforce participation.
Recent statistics indicate that students who graduate from community colleges are less likely to experience unemployment compared to those who have only earned high school diplomas. According to Sara Murray, a writer for the Wall Street Journal, the unemployment rate for high school graduates is above 11 percent as compared to a little over six percent for persons with associate degrees3. New York Times correspondent, Steven Greenhouse refers to the cohort of individuals who are faced with the challenge of deciding on a career path during a time when the nation is in a state of economic turmoil as “Generation R- Generation Recession”4.
Across the State of Missouri, the recession has had a significant impact on enrollment in two year institutions. As of spring 2009, almost ninety thousand students in Missouri attended community colleges. This includes an additional five thousand students enrolled in community colleges than the previous spring5, equating to a little over a five percent enrollment increase from 2008 to 2009. Over the last year, Moberly Area Community College (MACC) has reported an overall thirty-four percent increase in enrollment and a twenty-one percent general increase on their main campus6.
St. Charles Community College has also seen a two percent increase in their young male enrollment. Many of the young men who would have likely landed a job in the construction field realized that there were not any available and chose to enroll in St. Charles Community College7. Crowder College experienced an 11 percent increase in student enrollment for spring 20098 and St Louis Community College (STLCC) reported a 13 percent increase in their enrollment for summer 2009. STLCC attributes their increase to students who attend other colleges and universities during the fall, but have chosen to earn needed credits by enrolling in summer courses at STLCC. They also report that their affordable tuition rate and fewer job opportunities for college students have contributed to their summer boost in enrollment9. Given the affluence in a predominantly urban area such as St. Louis, it is likely that community college enrollment would be on the rise. However, it is surprising to see that highest increase in two year college enrollment occurred in Moberly, a rural town located in northern Missouri. The bar graph below lists the percent increase in community college enrollment throughout the State of Missouri for spring 2008 and 2009 semesters.
The increase in enrollment rates presents several challenges for community colleges across the nation. Many of them struggle to schedule courses when classrooms are available and create online classes to supplement on site courses in order to meet the needs of a larger student population.
Moreover, many of the students who choose to enroll in on site courses at community colleges discover that space is no longer available. Although enrollment rates continue to rise, several of these institutions do not possess the capacity to accommodate the academic needs of more students. As a result, students who decide to pursue an associate’s degree during the recession are at the mercy of community colleges and their employment fate is left in the hands of a diminishing economy.
Grandparents head nearly 10 percent of Missouri
families that include children under age 18
Three-fourths of Missouri’s grandfamily households include at least one parent of the children living there. Less closely related children -- such as nieces, nephews, brothers, sisters, and other relatives -- are part of nearly 20,000 of the state’s grandfamilies. Some grandfamilies include such relatives as well as children and/or grandchildren.
Among those heading grandfamilies in Missouri, 12 percent have a disability, compared to 9 percent nationwide. Housing costs consume 30 percent or more of household income for 31 percent of Missouri’s grandfamilies, a better showing than nationally where 37 percent are burdened with high housing costs.
In Missouri 15 percent of grandparents heading households with children under age 18 have a bachelor’s degree, compared to 12 percent nationally. Also, 78 percent of such Missouri grandparents have high school diplomas, versus 72 percent nationally.
For more information about Missouri's children, see the 2008 Missouri Kids Count.
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