St. Michael-Albertville students have again outperformed their state peers in all three subject areas of the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA) exams in 2015.
The Minnesota Department of Education stats show that overall 71.2 percent of STMA students are proficient in reading, 77.3 percent in math and 72.2 percent in science. In comparison, the overall state of Minnesota test results were 60.6 percent proficient in reading, 61.6 percent in math and 53 percent in science.
The percent of proficient STMA students in reading increased nearly six points from 65.5 percent in 2013 when the MCA III was introduced based on more challenging standards.
“We anticipate we will continue to see growth in reading achievement as STMA students are reading and understanding more complex content, resulting in them being better prepared for careers and college,” stated Superintendent Jim Behle. The superintendent and other staff will present the MCA results to the STMA Board of Education at its next meeting, set for Tuesday, Sept. 8.
The trends in math and science show similar results compared to when the more challenging MCA III’s were introduced. The percent of STMA students proficient in math increased from 69.4 percent in 2011 to 77.3 percent in 2015 and in science from 60.5 percent in 2012 to 72.3 percent. Behle said that the trend is for STMA students to exceed the state averages by increasing margins. He said that the positive trends are the result of a curriculum aligned with state standards and skilled teachers trained on highly effective instructional strategies that improve student achievement.
All grades and content areas exceeded state peers. In reading, 80.8 percent of STMA fifth grade students were proficient compared to 67.5 percent across the state. In math, three grades reported over 80 percent of the students proficient – 88.1 in third, 83.5 in fourth and 86.2 percent in eighth.
These yearly tests, required by state and federal law, are used as one tool to help schools gauge students’ progress in meeting expectations on Minnesota state standards for reading, math and science, Behle said. Standards determine what students need to know and be able to do. Teachers and local school districts select the curriculum, materials and lessons to instruct students to meet expectations for careers and college. Each year the test results are used to identify the strengths and limitations of the educational program.
After the complete report of the MCA results is made to the School Board, information will be posted on the district website.