District 622 sent out a release about the scores Friday, Aug. 30:
On Tuesday, Aug. 27, the Minnesota Department of Education released the scores for the 2013 Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA).
Students in the North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale School District continued to make gains on the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments in Math and Science. In addition, a new, more rigorous reading test was given, which provides the District with a new baseline for improvement moving forward.
Overall, math scores moved up slightly, from 61.6 percent proficiency in 2012, to 62 percent proficiency in 2013. This marks the second year in a row for overall math gains. Last year, students were only allowed to take the test once, unlike the previous year when students were given three opportunities to take the test, with the best score used.
Science also saw an increase in proficiency, with
50.1 percent proficiency in 2013, compared to 44.9 percent proficiency
in 2012. As in math, this was the second year in a row for overall gains
Students in third through eighth grade, and 11th graders, took the mandatory assessment math test in the spring.
While students took the math test twice in 2012 and kept their best results, they were only allowed to take the test once in 2013.
Statewide, there was a slight decline in math scores in 2013.
“We can be proud of the fact that Minnesota is a pioneer in setting high expectations for students, and in using online testing that give more timely information to teachers and parents,” a news release quoted Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius. “It’s important to look at today’s tests results for what they are: a snapshot in time that tells us how students are doing in mastering our state standards. What is needed now is to focus our efforts and stop moving the goal posts so teachers and students have a consistent target to hit.”
Scores from the reading test, which was administered to third through eighth grade and 10th grade, aren’t comparable because 2013 was the first time students took a new test. That test has more difficult reading passages and more challenging questions, along with higher expectations for what qualifies as “proficiency.”
This year’s test will serve as a baseline for comparison with future years.
“Anytime a new test based on new standards is given, a drop in scores is to be expected,” said Cassellius. “But setting high expectations is the right thing to do. If we want our students to compete in a global economy, we must continue to stretch and hold ourselves accountable for helping students meet higher standards.”
The science test is in its second year.
With test results in, the next step is for the Department of Education to release adequately yearly progress results and ratings on proficiency, student growth, closing the achievement gap and graduation rates. That should happen Oct. 1.