Minnesota student tests scores don’t change much; MCAs show achievement gap remains a challenge

Comprehensive test scores for Minnesota students didn’t change much in the latest round of testing, according to results released today.

Math results in the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments were the same as in 2013: 61 percent of students were proficient. Science, too, was unchanged, with 53 percent proficiency for high school students, 61 percent of fifth-graders and 45 percent of eighth-graders considered proficient.

Reading was up a bit, after a big drop in 2012 due to changes in standards. with 59 percent found proficient in reading compared to 57 percent in 2013. The number had been 76 percent in 2012.

The Star Tribune, though, points out that the tests show a continuing problem:

The achievement gap between white and minority students continues, despite some recent strong showings on other standardized tests by elementary-age black students.

In math, for example, black students tested in grades 3 through 8 were 35 percent proficient, compared to 71 percent for white students. In reading, the disparity was just as stark — 33 percent proficiency for black students and 67 percent for white students.

In the St. Paul public schools, reading and science were up a bit, but math was down. St. Paul Superintendent Valeria Silva said:

“We are very happy with the healthy reading gains in the third and fifth grades and the overall modest increase in reading across the district. We are also pleased that we saw increases in science scores. … We remain concerned, however, at the lack of acceleration in our math scores, and do not believe that our results accurately reflect the level of planning and effort put forth by both the staff and students of Saint Paul Public Schools.”

The district, like those around the country, is still looking for ways to improve student achievement, she said.

Some bullet points from the St. Paul results:

  • With an overall increase of one percentage point from 2013, the district has an overall percentage of proficiency in reading of 38%.
  • Across racial/ethnic groups, 73% of white students are proficient, 35% of American Indian students are proficient, 29% of Asian American students are proficient, 29% of Hispanic students are proficient, and 25% of black students are proficient in reading.
  • With an overall increase of one percentage point from 2013, the district has an overall percentage of proficiency in science of 28%.
  • Across racial/ethnic groups, 64% of white students are proficient, 21% of American Indian students are proficient, 19% of Asian American students are proficient, 21% of Hispanic students are proficient, and 13% of black students are proficient in science.
  • With an overall decrease of two percentage points from 2013, the district has an overall percentage of proficiency in math of 42%.
  • Across racial/ethnic groups, 71% of white students are proficient, 41% of Asian American students are proficient, 31% of American Indian students are proficient, 30% of Hispanic students are proficient, and 26% of black students are proficient in math.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply