Posted at: 08/01/2012 5:53 PM
Updated at: 08/01/2012 6:28 PM
State Math and Reading Tests Yield Better Results
(ABC 6 NEWS) -- Some good news about Minnesota students. They've posted slightly higher scores on their math and reading tests, compared to a year ago.
But there is still concern about one key gage.
"In the area of math we saw some really significant gains," said Austin Public Schools curriculum director John Alberts.
While test scores in the Austin school district are still below state levels, they’re going in the right direction.
“We actually realized about a 16 percent increase in proficiency, where the state realized about a seven," Alberts said.
Austin’s reading scores were steady overall, with some bright spots.
“A five, almost six percent gain in reading at Sumner," Alberts explained. A year ago, Sumner Elementary became Austin’s first year-round school.
In Albert Lea, test scores were mixed, with a slight increase in math and a decrease in reading.
And in Rochester, "In math we had an increase of about 5.9%, 6%," said the Rochester school district’s Jennifer Pozanc.
And while reading scores were basically unchanged from last year, “Overall though we are still ahead of the state," Poznac added.
But even though math and reading scores have gone up overall, the state is still concerned about what it calls the achievement gap.
“The achievement gap is the difference between how our white students are performing compared to other students, minority students," Jennifer Pozanc explained.
State officials say the gap isn’t getting wider, but it’s also not shrinking as fast as they had hoped. And since all students are expected to meet proficiency guidelines: students on the lower end of the gap need to work harder to meet those standards.
"The idea is that we really need to be thinking how all students are growing, but recognize that some obvious need to grow faster if we want them to catch up to their advantaged peers," said Austin schools curriculum director John Alberts.
"Rochester public schools has a strategic plan and we're always looking at that and trying to help all students improve every year," Jennifer Pozanc explained.
“It's important that all of our students are growing in Minnesota, not just those that traditionally do well in school" added the Austin school district’s John Alberts.
Some educators are questioning the higher results of the math test. Elementary and middle school students were given up to three opportunities to take the test because it was the first time it was offered on-line.