MCA results show dip in student performance

(ABC 6 News) – New data released from the Minn. Dep. of Education shows students test scores in core subjects have fallen to alarming levels, including in Rochester.

The pandemic took a toll on all Minnesotans, with young students being impacted in more ways than one.

“I feel like this year is gonna be a year of catching up,” said mom of four, Khadija Ali.

The data shows that Rochester Public Schools is behind the state average.

Within RPS, this year only 39.8% of students are meeting the grade level standard in math compared with the state average of 44.8%. Similarly, in Rochester 49.5% met the requirement in reading versus the state average of 51.1%. Those meeting the grade level standard in science is 36.4% in RPS compared with the state’s average of 41.3%.

More details on the report can be found here.

“This puts numbers to something we knew was going to happen in the absence of ongoing in-person instruction throughout the pandemic. We knew that we had students moving further away from their grade-level targets,” explained Sam Pearson, the principal at Ben Franklin Elementary School in Rochester.

At Franklin Elementary, Pearson says it’s about going back to the basics and taking a look at the curriculum to ensure it is giving students the best tools to get back on track.

Many parents say this school year is make or break for students, and teachers are playing a pivotal role.

“They’re put in a hard spot, but they do have to recognize when students need help,” said John Waltz. Waltz is the grandfather of nine children, and saw first-hand the effects of distance-learning during the pandemic.

Others say parents need to get more involved this school year.

“Being more hands-on and being more involved in your kids school, so attend that afterschool program if there is any, attend those conferences,” Ali advised.

Ali says it is about using resources given from teachers and making sure you know how your child is doing in school.

“That’s what works for my husband and I. He would call me and he would say ‘check out what the teacher just posted because I think that he could do better than what he just did. We’re not being hard on our kid but at the same time when he comes home, we at least know what to tackle that day,” Ali said.