STMA Schools had 65.2 percent of its students proficient in
reading compared to the 57.8 percent statewide.
In math, 74.8 percent of the students in the district were
considered proficient in compared
to the 62.6 percent statewide.
In reviewing the results, STMA
Schools Superintendent James Behle noted two items, according to the press
• 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.
“Anytime a new test based on new standards is given, a drop
in scores is to be expected,” a news release quoted Minnesota Education
Commissioner Brenda Cassellius. “But setting high expectations is the right
thing to do. If we want our students to compete in a global economy, we must
continue to stretch and hold ourselves accountable for helping students meet
“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,” Behle said. “More students are
meeting the more rigorous math standards than in 2011 when the new assessment
Administrators and teachers have begun to review the results
and “will com up with plans to address any limitations in the educational
program,” according to the STMA Schools press release. A report of the MCA
results is expected to be presented at the Sept. 16 ISD 885
board meeting and posted on the district website following the meeting.
With test results in, the next step is for the Department of Education
to release adequately yearly progress results and ratings on proficiency,
student growth, closing the achievement gap and graduation rates. That should
happen Oct. 1.