MCA scores released; Worthington results consistent with state trend
WORTHINGTON -- The Minnesota Department of Education released the scores from the 2015 Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs). Worthington's scores reflected the overall statewide proficiency data, showing that reading scores increased slight...
WORTHINGTON - The Minnesota Department of Education released the scores from the 2015 Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs).
Worthington’s scores reflected the overall statewide proficiency data, showing that reading scores increased slightly, math scores remained constant and science scores also continued to be the same.
Katie Clarke, District 518’s director of school improvement, said that while the MCA results are taken seriously, there are other ways to judge the school’s progress.
“It’s really a place for us to start to have conversations and to ask ‘what does this mean,”’ Clarke said. “Our teachers will look at these results, but they really will be digging into their daily and weekly formative assessments they are using in the classroom. That’s really going to influence their instruction.”
Testing results haven’t changed much for the district since 2011, when new standards were implemented for math and science. New reading testing standards were implemented in 2013, meaning districts can’t compare this year’s testing scores to those before then.
This year, Worthington School District’s scores were:
Reading: 46.3 percent student proficiency, which represents a jump from the 41.7 percent of last year.
Math: 42.6 percent, just shy of last year’s 42.7 percent.
Science: 38.7 percent, barely missing last year’s score of 38.8 percent.
The 2015 state average in these subjects are:
Reading: 59.5 percent
Math: 60.2 percent
Science: 53.4 percent
Clarke said there are many factors other than each individual students test scores that go into the school’s results.
Among those are experience level of the staff and demographics. She said people often automatically think of race when hear the word “demographic,” but free and reduced lunch, special education and English language learners (ELL) are demographics as well.
“Because our district has a higher ratio of students within those individual subgroups than the state average, it means that our students who are not (testing) proficient (could be) counted more than one time on these reports,” Clarke said.
Therefore, if a student who is not special education, free and reduced lunch or an ELL student scores 70 percent proficient, that student is only counted one time. On the other hand, if a student who scores 40 percent proficient on the test is special education, free and reduced lunch and an ELL student, that score is counted three separate times.
Proficiency scores are used to calculate each school’s Annual Yearly Progress (AYP).
“I’m so passionate about helping kids and whether the data shows it or not I will say this - and I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t truly believe it,” Clarke said. “No system in the state is perfect, but our system is extremely committed at every level by helping kids. We want them to do good on tests, but we also want them to be the best we can be.”
Because Worthington’s test scores didn’t meet state standards, Prairie Elementary is named a focus school. That means it will be provided with support from the Regional Center of Excellence.
“Because of where our test scores are at, it means that we now have access to the Regional Center and we have an advocate and a representative that comes down and meets with us on a regular basis,” Clark said. “The Regional Center of Excellence does not set direction for us, but they can help support the direction that we have in place.”
Prairie Elementary is eligible for Regional Center of Excellence support because it is a Title I school.
The Multiple Measurement Ratings (MMR) scores for individual schools will be released in early September. That score will include results in proficiency, growth, achievement gap reduction and graduation rates.