American Institutes for Research (AIR) is the contractor for the administration of Minnesota's statewide assessments. Resources for District Assessment Coordinators, including test manuals and directions, test monitor directions, training resources, item samplers, and software downloads, are available on AIR's Minnesota Assessments web portal
.Title I Assessments
The Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs) and alternate assessments (MCA-Modified and MTAS) are the state tests that help districts measure student progress toward Minnesota's academic standards and meet the requirements of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Students take one test in each subject. Most students take the MCA, but students who receive special education services and meet eligibility criteria may take the MCA-Modified or the MTAS. Download Alternate Assessment Eligibility Requirements
In order to be eligible for a diploma from a Minnesota public high school, all students must fulfill graduation assessment requirements in writing, reading, and mathematics. Based on the revisions to Minnesota Statutes, section 120B.30, the graduation assessment requirements have changed.
There are different routes to meeting graduation assessment requirements, depending on what year students were first enrolled in grade 8. Chapter 2 of the Procedures Manual for the Minnesota Assessments
provides detailed information about the graduation assessment, and can be found on the General Resources section of the Minnesota Assessments portal site
. In addition, overview information for parents is available on the Testing Information section of the MDE website
.English Language Proficiency Assessments
The ACCESS for ELLs and Alternate ACCESS for ELLs are the assessments developed by the WIDA consortium and administered to English learners in order to measure progress toward meeting Minnesota’s standards for English language development, developed by the WIDA consortium. Most English learners will take the ACCESS for ELLs, but English learners who received special education services and meet the participation guidelines may take the Alternate ACCESS for ELLs. A link to the WIDA Consortium website is provided under related resources. Download Alternate ACCESS for ELL Participation Guidelines
The 2014-2015 testing schedule is a work in progress while MDE negotiates with the prospective new vendor for the college entrance exam and college placement diagnostic assessment. The contract for the Minnesota Assessments was awarded to Pearson, and includes the grades 8 and 10 career and college assessments. We will provide details when they become available, but we anticipate that the online testing windows for grades 3-7 Reading and Mathematics MCA and grades 5, 8, and high school Science MCA will be similar to this year.