In a prime example of doing more with less, the St. Michael-Albertville School District again rose to the top 20 percent of schools in Minnesota measuring ACT results, all while being in the bottom 1 percent of the state’s more than 300 districts in funding.
St. Michael-Albertville High School students taking the ACT exam outperformed the Minnesota and nationwide class of 2014 on the ACT with an average score of 24.1, compared to the Minnesota average of 22.9 and nationwide average of 21. The Class of 2014 not only exceeded the Minnesota average, but STMA seniors outperformed state seniors by the largest margin since 2010.
Additionally, more STMA students met each of the four benchmarks—English, Reading Math and Science—than did students in Minnesota and the nation with 47 percent, compared to 39 percent in Minnesota and 26 percent nationally. STMA seniors exceeded state averages on the four individual benchmarks by almost 10 percent to 20 percent. Among the four benchmarks, STMA exceeded the state benchmark averages by the highest margin in math and science. Students who reach the benchmark are more academically prepared to succeed in their future career and college endeavors than less-prepared students.
“One of the best indicators we have to show that our students are prepared for career and college is the ACT,” Minnesota Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius said. This coming year, all Minnesota juniors will take the ACT, free of charge, as part of new graduation requirements approved by the 2013 Legislature. Of the seniors in the Class of 2014, 78 percent took the ACT or 271 students. In 2006, 135 seniors took the test.
“Teaching to a higher set of standards, getting more students to take a core curriculum, and improving the rigor within those core courses taught by highly skilled teachers are just a few of the ways we increase college and career readiness levels among students at STMA,” according the Jim Behle, Superintendent.
STMA students start learning about college and career readiness in eighth grade with the EXPLORE, a pre-ACT which helps students understand how well they are prepared for postsecondary education that fits their needs and interests.