Students make progress on statewide math, reading testsMinnesota students are better prepared for career and postsecondary education than they were only a few years ago according to Minnesota graduation requirements results announced Tuesday by the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE).
By: Staff Report, Alexandria Echo Press
Minnesota students are better prepared for career and postsecondary education than they were only a few years ago according to Minnesota graduation requirements results announced Tuesday by the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE).
In the Math Graduation-Required Assessments for Diploma (GRAD), which is embedded in the Math MCA-II, 58 percent of Minnesota 11th-graders met the state’s more rigorous math graduation requirement on the first attempt by earning a proficient score on MCA-II or a passing score on the GRAD. That is a 1 percent increase from 2009.
Additionally, 78 percent of Minnesota 10th-graders met the state’s reading graduation requirement on the first attempt, by earning a proficient score on MCA-II or a passing score on the GRAD. The Reading GRAD is embedded in the 10th-grade Reading MCA-II.
The graduation requirements are designed to ensure that students have the needed academic skills and knowledge before they graduate.
For the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments-II (MCA-II), 43 percent of Minnesota 11th-graders scored proficient in the Math portion, which is a 1 percent increase from last year. Seventy-five percent of Minnesota 10th-graders are proficient on the Reading MCA-II, which is a 1 percent increase over last year.
Since 2007, the percentage of students scoring proficient in the Reading MCA-II increased 13 percent and the percentage of students scoring proficient in the Math MCA-II increased 11 percent.
“More students are achieving proficiency and meeting Minnesota’s rigorous Math and Reading requirement,” Minnesota Education Commissioner Alice Seagren said. “We need to continue our efforts to prepare every Minnesota student for success in the 21st century through greater academic rigor.”
Reading, Math and Writing Graduation Requirements
Students must meet the math and reading graduation requirements in order to graduate. Multiple GRAD retest opportunities are available to students who did not meet the graduation requirement. Schools provide remediation to those students prior to taking the GRAD retest online. However, under legislation passed in 2009, for the next four years, students who do not meet the math graduation requirement can still graduate if they:
Complete all coursework and credits required for graduation.
Participate in district-prescribed academic remediation in math.
Participate in at least two retests of the math GRAD exam or pass the math GRAD exam, whichever happens first.
Schools must also place a student’s passing status for Math MCA-II, Reading MCA-II, Writing GRAD, Math GRAD (if applicable), and Reading GRAD (if applicable) on a student’s transcript.
Of the estimated 63,000 Minnesota seniors, 97 percent have met the writing graduation requirement. For Reading, 92 percent of Minnesota students met the graduation requirement and, for Math, 72 percent of seniors met the graduation requirement.
This year, 90 percent of Minnesota 9th-graders met the writing graduation requirement by passing the Writing GRAD. Last year, 89 percent of Minnesota 9th-graders also passed the GRAD. The Writing GRAD assessment, which is not embedded into an MCA-II, is designed to measure whether or not a student has attained basic writing skills before graduation. Those skills include the ability to formulate and communicate a written message in English to an adult reader. Taking into account several factors, including composition, style, sentence formation, grammar, and mechanics and spelling, the assessments are graded as passing or not passing. Students who do not pass the Writing GRAD assessment will have opportunities to retest during statewide testing windows.
2010 Reading and Math MCA-II Results
The MCA-IIs measure student performance on the Minnesota Academic Standards. Those standards define what students should know and be able to do in a particular grade and are developed in partnership with Minnesota educators. Students who meet or exceed standards on the MCA-II are considered proficient.
Since 2007, the percentage of Minnesota 10th-graders proficient increased 13 percent in Reading to 75 percent in 2010. During the same time, Minnesota 11th-graders increased 11 percent in math to 43 percent in 2010.
Complete Reading and Math MCA-II data, including school and district data, is scheduled to be released during the week of June 28. Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) results are to be released in August.