STMA reading, math scores continue to exceed statewide averages

St. Michael-Albertville reading and math scores exceed statewide averages at all grades on the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA).

Reported as the percent of students who met or exceeded grade level standards, STMA reported 65.2% of its students proficient in reading compared to 57.8% statewide and 74.8% students proficient in math compared to 62.6% statewide.

These yearly tests, required by state and federal law, are used as one tool to help schools gauge students’ progress in meeting expectations on Minnesota state standards for reading and math.

In reviewing the results, Supt. Behle noted two important observations:

2013 is the first year students took new tests based on more challenging reading standards. Minnesota adopted more rigorous standards to help ensure students are career and college ready upon high school graduation. As a result, the percentage of students meeting the new standards was less than those meeting the prior standards although the percent of STMA students proficient in reading exceeded the statewide average at all grade levels.

While statewide math scores dipped slightly, STMA math proficiency scores increased 7.4 points, bucking the statewide trend and achieving the highest percent proficient since Minnesota adopted the more rigorous math standards and assessments in 2011.

Behle stated that anytime a new test is introduced on more rigorous standards, a drop in scores is to be expected, but if we want our students to be as prepared as possible for careers and college, we must continue to hold them to higher standards. He said, “As teachers and students become more familiar with the new standards, and as teachers better align their teaching and curriculum to teach the standards, we know we will see growth in the test scores, as evidenced in the past by the new test in math two years ago. More students are meeting the more rigorous math standards than in 2011 when the new assessment was introduced.”

The percent of STMA students proficient in math exceeded the statewide averages in grades five through eight and eleven from 11 to 24 points. In the junior year, 24% more students met or exceeded the standards compared to the statewide average.

Each year the test results are used to identify the strengths and limitations of the educational program. Behle said that in the district’s quest to continue to improve, administrators and teachers have already begun to review the results and will come up with plans to address any limitations in the educational program. A complete report of the MCA results will be made to the School Board Sept. 16 and posted online after the meeting.

-Compiled by Aaron Brom