Academic Achievement

Student performance in Missouri is below average. The state hovers just under the national average in the percentage of 4th and 8th graders at or above the proficient level on the NAEP math exam.

Academic Achievement for Low-Income and Minority Students

Missouri earns a middling grade on academic achievement for low-income and minority students. Only 13% of African-American 4th graders score at or above the proficient level on the NAEP math exam. The national average is 18%.

Return on Investment

Student achievement in Missouri is average relative to state spending after controlling for cost of living. 

Truth in Advertising: Student Proficiency

Missouri posts excellent marks on the credibility of its student proficiency scores. The grade is based on the difference between the percentage of students identified as proficient in reading and math on the 2011 state exams and the percentage identified as proficient on the 2011 NAEP reading and math tests.

Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness

Missouri earns an average grade preparing its students for college and careers. While the state's graduation rate is 86%, only 10 students out of 100 pass an AP exam.

21st Century Teacher Force

Missouri does an average job of creating a strong teacher workforce. The state especially struggles to expand the pool of teachers but is middling in its ability to retain effective ones. 

Parental Options

Missouri does a mediocre job providing parents with strong school choice options. The Show-Me State has a solid charter school law that increased the number of charter schools across the state, but school choice options as a whole are restricted. 

Data Quality

Missouri earns a good grade collecting and reporting high-quality education data. While the state has not developed longitudinal data systems, it does link student performance with teacher data. 


Missouri receives a poor grade employing technology to provide quality instruction and personalized learning. Students have limited access to high-quality digital learning options, and the state has not provided the necessary infrastructure to support digital learning. 

International Competitiveness

Missouri earns a low grade preparing its students to compete in a global economy, with only 31% of students proficient in reading and math compared with an international standard. Only 5 in 1,000 students pass an AP foreign language exam.

Fiscal Responsibility

Missouri receives high marks on fiscal responsibility. Seventy-eight percent of the state’s pension is funded, and its last contribution was 96%.