RPS: Student assessment scores decline in math, science and reading proficiency

(ABC 6 News) – The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) released their annual assessment report on Thursday which shows students in public school districts struggling in key subjects including Rochester.

The assessments, which include the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments, Minnesota Test of Academic Skills, ACCESS for English Language Learners and Alternate ACCESS for English Language Learners, show declines in the number of students who either meet or exceed grade level standards in math, science and reading over time.

The data in the tables below show students in RPS compared to the state.

In 2020, the MDE did not conduct assessments due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rochester Public Schools data is in the table below:

Minnesota Department of Education

State Public Schools data is in the table below:

Minnesota Department of Education

Meanwhile, according to the MDE, the four year graduation rate for Rochester Public Schools in 2021, was 83.8% compared to the state average of 83.3%.

However, the RPS four year graduation rate has declined 3.2% since 2018, when it was 87.0%.

In their report released on Thursday, the MDE said it is expanding its support system for schools across the state, the Collaborative Minnesota Partnerships to Advance Student Success—also known as COMPASS—to 371 public schools, including 15 entire school districts for the next three years. State officials say those schools will be getting coordinated support and training from the MDE, as well as the Regional Centers of Excellence.

According to the state, the highest level of comprehensive support will be given to 46 schools that are working to improve outcomes across multiple measures, 103 high schools with graduation rates below 67%, as well as 48 schools with one or more student groups below performance thresholds for multiple measures in 2018 and 2022.

Officials say extra targeted support will be given to 58 schools which may need to focus on a single student group and another 52 schools focusing on credit and dropout recovery.

Meanwhile, an additional 64 schools identified in 2018 and not 2022 will continue to get support.

Three RPS schools are in need of extra support:

  • Riverside Central Elementary
  • Rochester Alternative Learning Center
  • ALC Summer Credit Recovery

Also, Albert Lea Senior High and Albert Lea Learning Center are also in need of extra support.

Thursday morning, Republican members of the House issued the following statement in response to the report:

“Today’s news is further proof that the failed pandemic policies championed by Gov. Walz and Democrats have been devastating for thousands of students across Minnesota. Test scores are down and mental health challenges have exploded — Minnesota students are hurting and desperately need help. Instead of focusing efforts on equipping students with the reading, writing, and math skills that are the foundation of a great education, Gov. Walz and his allies are promoting controversial and politically motivated curriculum. It’s time to drop the indoctrination and get back to basics that will give students the skills they need to succeed in life — Minnesota students cannot afford to wait any longer.”

Rep. Ron Kresha (R-Little Falls) and Rep. Sondra Erickson (R-Princeton)