STMA students beat state average MCA scores

St. Michael-Albertville students again outperformed their state peers in all three content areas in all tested grades on the 2017 Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA).

According to a press release by the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) regarding statewide results, “Math scores decreased slightly for some grade levels and remained constant for others, and reading scores remained largely the same.”

This was not the case for STMA. STMA scored 16.4 percentage points higher than the state in reading, 20.3 points higher in math, and 22.9 points higher in science. This is despite the fact that STMA ranks 327 out of 331 school districts in school funding.

“Despite receiving significantly less than most school districts in the state, we continue to make substantial progress in student learning,” Superintendent Ann-Marie Foucault said. “STMA schools are the pride and center of the community and I am very proud that St. Michael-Albertville taxpayers have a strong return on investment.”

The percent of proficient STMA students in reading was 76.5%, which is a 3.2% increase from 2016. “The district has focused on taking a critical literacy approach to reading and we are excited that STMA students are reading and understanding more complex content, resulting in them being better prepared for careers and college,” Foucault said.

The trends in math and science show similar results. The percent of STMA students proficient in math increased 1.4% from 2016 to 78.9% in 2017 and 2.1% in science from 2016 to 76.8% in 2017. Foucault said that the trend is for STMA students to exceed the state averages by increasing margins. She said that the positive trends are the result of a curriculum aligned with state standards and skilled teachers trained on highly effective instructional strategies that improve student achievement.

MCA-IIIs, 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, math and science. Standards determine what students need to know and be able to do. Teachers and local school districts select the curriculum, materials and lessons to instruct students to meet expectations for careers and college. Each year the test results are used to identify the strengths and limitations of educational programming.

A complete report of the 2017 MCA results will be made to the School Board Sept. 18 and will be posted on the district website.

-Compiled by
Aaron Brom