Boone Elementary almost completely erases the achievement gap in math
A failing school becomes one of the best in the nation
When Principal Sheryl Cochran took over at Boone in 2004, math proficiency among African American students sat at 8 percent. The nominal gains they made in test scores on the Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) over the next three years weren’t nearly enough to meet adequate yearly progress goals, and when 2008 numbers showed a drastic drop to their already low scores, Boone was labeled School Improvement Level 2. If they didn’t make major changes that resulted in progress, the State of Missouri would begin to level sanctions against them.
Dr. Cochran knew something had to change.
I had to prepare the staff that we weren’t going to last much longer unless we made real changes—fast.Dr. Cochran
30% gain in math proficiency across ALL STUDENTS in three years
Boone Elementary Results
Boone Elementary students realized huge gains in mathematics proficiency scores after implementation of enVisionMATH.
Dr. Cochran and her staff identified mathematics instruction as a prime candidate to begin the turnaround. Their previous program lacked fidelity and focus, and they realized they needed to change their teaching to allow individualized instruction. Using state school improvement funds, Boone chose enVisionMATH for use in grades 3-5 in the fall of 2009.
Teachers delved into professional development and training and became experts in how the program aligned with the curriculum and the skills Missouri requires its students to master. Benchmarking was implemented to ensure students were learning skills before advancing, and teachers began working with students in smaller breakout groups, with specific instruction tailored to each groups’ needs.
Students embraced the interactive, visually based lessons, and were given individual online “SuccessTracker” accounts that motivated them to keep track of homework, goals, and resources, and allowed their families to actively follow their progress.
And then something wonderful happened: it started working.
By the first year, scores rose by 15%. The next year, 25%. Additional funds were used to bring grades K-2 into the program, and they experienced the same success. Teachers knew where their students stood at all times. Children were engaged and eager to learn. Parents became increasingly involved in their children’s education.
By 2012, a school that was once only provisionally accredited, where 70 percent of students qualify for free or reduced-price lunches, was named one of the top urban schools in the country. In that time, Boone Elementary posted a nearly 30% gain in students—including special education—performing at proficient or advanced levels on their MAP math tests . They handily exceeded their annual performance targets. They outperformed the statewide average. And with math proficiency of African American students at 81%, they’ve almost completely erased the achievement gap between black and white students.
To cap off this incredible three-year run, Boone Elementary won the National Center for Urban School Transformation’s 2013 Excellence in Urban Education Silver Award, and was one of two finalists for the Gold Award as the top urban school in the nation.
But Dr. Cochran isn’t entirely surprised.
“We weren’t happy with being just good enough, we wanted to be great. I knew we could do it… just didn’t expect results this quickly.”
We weren’t happy with being just good enough, we wanted to be great. I knew we could do it… just didn’t expect results this quickly.Dr. Cochran
Written specifically to address the Common Core State Standards
enVisionMATH Common Core is based on critical foundational research and proven classroom results.
Learn more about enVisionMATH