The Minnesota Department of Education released scores for the 2017 Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments on Aug. 7. According to the MDE, overall, scores in reading, math and science showed little change from last year. Math scores decreased slightly for some grade levels and remained constant for others, and reading scores remained largely the same.
"Test scores are just one part of the picture to understand how students are doing in Minnesota," MDE Commissioner Brenda Cassellius said in a news release. "It's frustrating to see test scores slowly increasing over time, but there's more to providing a student with a well-rounded education than can be seen in a test. I am proud of our students and of the teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals, support staff and many others working every day to help every student succeed."
Since 2013, when a new reading test was implemented, scores for all students are up 2 percentage points in grades 3-8 and 10.
In math, scores for students grades 3-8 are also up 2 percentage points from 2011, when a new math test was implemented.
Students in grades 5, 8 and high school who took the science exam have increased scores by 4 percentage points since 2012.
Joe Jezierski, the Red Wing School District's director of teaching and learning, explained results in a statement released by the school district.
"Assessment results for Red Wing were in line with expectations. Students did very well on some assessments and we saw some improvement in proficiency levels," he said.
"For example, third-grade reading results improved by over 6 percent compared to last year, and 6th grade math proficiency results exceeded state averages by over 17 percent. However, there are some areas in need of improvement."
Superintendent Karsten Anderson said that School Board members will discuss assessment results at their Aug. 21 meeting. Also, over the next few weeks, administrators and teachers will use results to formulate site-based improvement plans. These plans, which will be shared with the board and public in September, will include information about short-term and long-term strategies to improve results.
Anderson indicated that the school district will review assessment results and incorporate improvement plans as a strategic plan is developed for the next three to five years.
"Our goal is to exceed state averages on every assessment every year. At the same time, though, we recognize that assessment results tell only part of the story," Anderson said. "Our school district cares about the whole child, and we will continue to provide a variety of learning experiences that help prepare students for life after high school so they can become respectful, responsible, and productive citizens."