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Alexandria students at the head of their class

Students in Alexandria School District 206 outperformed their Minnesota peers in proficiency in the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA) reading and math tests.

They also outscored the nine regional school districts with similar demographics that the district uses for comparison purposes.

The MCA tests measure how students are doing on state academic standards in mathematics and reading.

The statewide data reflects that Alexandria students exceeded the statewide proficiency averages for all eight grades tested in spring 2013 (grades 3-8, 10 and 11) in reading and math tests.

Reading scores statewide dipped. The scores, however, reflect new assessments this year due to more rigorous English language arts academic standards, according to state education leaders. The 2013 scores establish a new baseline to monitor progress in students meeting the higher reading standards.

District 206 reading scores are approximately 10 or more percentage points above the state average in every grade level.

Among other regional school districts with comparable demographics, some high points from the data show that:

• Alexandria students' math proficiency scores rank first across all grade levels tested, with the exception of 3rd and 4th grade where they ranked in third place.

• Alexandria students' reading proficiency scores rank first in every grade level, with the exception of 4th grade reading where they ranked in second place.

"Our kids scored extremely well against new rigorous reading standards and I think that speaks to the effectiveness of our balanced literacy program in a positive way," said Julie Critz, director of teaching and learning. "Our balanced literacy model teaches kids to think deeper and process at a higher level, which aligns with the depth of knowledge that the state assessment expects students to know. With support from parents at home, it's rewarding for teaching staff and literacy coaches to see students succeeding."

Al Edenloff
Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  
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