Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, August 26, 2014
CONTACT:
Josh Collins, josh.collins@state.mn.us or 651-582-8205

Minnesota Students Show Steady Improvement on State Tests Over Past Four Years

ROSEVILLE – Today, the Minnesota Department of Education released the results of the 2014 Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs). 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, math and science.

This year, test scores showed:

• One year after implementing a test that was aligned to Minnesota’s new reading standards, performance by all students groups, with the exception of English learners, improved by at least 1 percent. English learners held steady.
• Students in grades 3-8 demonstrated continued progress since 2011 on the math assessment.
• Performance on the science assessment continues to show steady progress toward mastering the standards.

“We are seeing steady improvement in student achievement. The trend line is up, and that’s progress,” Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius said. “This kind of change is exactly what we hope to see as our teachers master how to best teach our tougher standards, so each student approaches the test confident and fully prepared. It is critical that we use these scores, along with other indicators of student achievement, to inform our efforts on how best to support our teachers as they prepare our students for career and college.”

Other indicators the state uses to assess how students are doing have not changed over time, and show similar upward trends. One such indicator, the Nation’s Report Card (NAEP), recently placed Minnesota fourth graders first in the nation on math, and 10th in the nation on reading, up from 22nd in 2011. Further, NAEP results showed closure in the achievement gaps between white students and black and Hispanic students.

Another consistent indicator has been student performance on the ACT. Last week 2014 data were released showing Minnesota students outperforming the nation for the ninth year in a row. The state will continue to monitor student performance on the ACT this coming spring as for the first time every junior in the state will take the ACT, free of charge.

Data from the MCAs are used to determine the Multiple Measurement’s Ratings (MMR), the state’s system of accountability to the federal government, allowed under the recently-extended federal waiver from the No Child Left Behind Act. Those results will be released on October 1.

The 2014 Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment results are available on the Minnesota Report Card (http://rc.education.state.mn.us), a mobile-friendly, online tool designed to provide parents, educators, schools, districts and citizens with easy access to district and school information, test results, revenue and expenditure data, demographic information and other critical data in a centralized location.

View the 2014 Minnesota Assessment Results: Mathematics, Reading and Science PowerPoint presentation. Visit the Data Center for additional information.

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