9/6/2013 2:58:00 PM MCA test scores show NB and CL
students rank higher than state average
by DENISE MARTIN
Chisago Lakes and North Branch Schools students who took the MCA exams in spring of 2013 finished well ahead of state averages, in ranking “proficient” in math and reading testing. The results of the MCA tests, taken about three months ago, were recently made public by the state. MN Comprehensive Assessments are meant to show how well schools have aligned their curriculum and taught their students in academic standards created for Minnesota pupils. Schools use the data to improve teaching, according to a MN Dept. of Education news release distributed along with the test data.
Chisago Lakes reading tests came out with 65 proficient and 65 percent of North Branch students tested proficient in reading. In mathematics-- Chisago Lakes posted 75 percent proficiant and North Branch 64 percent. The statewide public school averages reported by the Dept. of Education had 62 percent proficient in math and 58 percent in reading. (To see each grade level test scores see the webpage for the Dept. of Education.) Not every student takes these Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA) tests. Grades 3 through 8, grade 10 and grade 11 are targeted for the testing. Grade 10 students only took the reading test and grade 11 took the math to demonstrate if they are ready for graduating. There were 1,308 CL students tested in math and 1,156 in reading.
There were 1,063 North Branch students taking the math test and 1,087 took the MCA reading exam. The districts’ demographics are very much alike-- North Branch had none of its students listed as eligible for migrant services, and Chisago Lakes also had zero listed for migrant services. North Branch tested four students with limited English skills. Chisago Lakes tested two students with limited English skills. In both districts the girls out-performed the boys in both reading and math results. In order to graduate from high school in Minnesota the student must meet or exceed certain MCA test levels. The MCAs are designed to meet requirements in the federal elementary and secondary education act. ~ In October the state releases what it calls the MN Multiple Measurements Ratings (MMR) that focus on each school’s progress in a number of instructional areas. ~ Parents also receive testing results showing their student’s MAP data, which is short for Measures of Academic Progress containing learning information tracked on a graph for individual students.