Math, reading scores climb in Red WingRed Wing students showed marked improvement across most categories in math and reading tests, according to results released this week by the state.
By: Mike Longaecker, The Republican Eagle
Red Wing students showed marked improvement across most categories in math and reading tests, according to results released this week by the state.
That included increases compared to state figures, where Red Wing now edges statewide averages in almost every grade level.
In recent years, Red Wing schools have implemented several so-called interventions – special teaching sessions for students who struggle in reading and math.
Supt. Stan Slessor said Wednesday those techniques were among the reasons for gains made on this year’s tests.
“I think this is starting to pay off,” he said.
The data shows how third- through 11th-graders fared on the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment II tests issued in the spring. In August, the state will announce whether schools made adequate yearly progress toward federal No Child Left Behind guidelines.
The state flagged Red Wing’s AYP results – which categorize test proficiency among students of different racial, income and learning levels – last year at the district level and at Burnside Elementary.
Penalties call for the district, which was placed in corrective action by the state, to divert federal funding to teacher training. At Burnside, which is considered in need of improvement by the state, officials were required to present an improvement plan to the Department of Education.
Slessor said early indications are those sanctions won’t be lifted, though he said significant gains appear to have been made. He said students eligible for free and reduced-price meals were no longer flagged – a “heartening feeling,” Slessor said, after the district targeted students in poverty about three years ago.
According to raw MCA-II data, Red Wing students bested last year’s figures in all but two grade-level areas.
“That’s a good trend,” Slessor said.
Statewide, student math tests improved in all grades except eighth. Reading gains across the state were nominal, with a mix of gains and losses.
State Education Commissioner Alice Seagren said improved math scores are an indications the work of teachers and families “is really starting to pay off.”
“Today’s results also show what happens when we raise expectations for our high school students and hold them accountable for their efforts in reading by requiring a certain level of proficiency for graduation,” Seagren said in a press release.
See Saturday’s print edition for more details.