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District seeks to boost ACT scores

Joe Jezierski, director of teaching and learning for Red Wing schools, said Monday that the five-year trend for ACT test results is not where he would like it to be.

The ACT results show Red Wing students testing just below the state average in all four categories of math, English, reading, and science for 2013. The composite score for Red Wing students was 22.5 compared to a state average of 23.

One of the next steps, Jezierski told the Red Wing School Board Monday night, would be to take a look at individual student scores since these results are a general composite of all students who took the test, but added, "We need to be above the state average at the very least."

He said the district has added a third high school counselor, who will focus primarily on college readiness, which is a big step toward achieving the goal of increasing the test scores.

Board member Mark Ryan said Red Wing's trend is slowly edging downward, which is the most concerning over all the other factors.

The ACT test is a standardized test to assess student readiness for college.


Jezierski said there have been many changes in the MCA tests over the past few years. The reading test changed from last year, which makes it impossible to compare to previous years, and weighting for the tests changes frequently statewide, which makes it difficult to base success specifically on the tests.

Overall the math and science scores were very positive, aside from a significant drop in the fifth grade scores in math, which occurred not only in Red Wing, but across the state, he said.

The constant changes in the tests make the tests essentially useless to the people using them, said Vice Chair Mike Christensen.

Jezierski said it would be more beneficial to put emphasis on local assessments.

Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments are state tests which are meant to help districts measure student progress toward achieving Minnesota's academic standards.