State IDs Minnesota schools making achievement gap progress

By The Associated Press | Posted - Sep. 1, 2015 at 1:51 p.m.

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ROSEVILLE, Minn. (AP) — Nearly two-thirds of Minnesota's schools are making significant progress in closing achievement gaps in reading and math, the Minnesota Department of Education said Tuesday.

By 2017, the state wants to cut in half the learning gap minorities and students living in poverty currently face. The information shows how well schools are progressing toward that goal.

In reading, 43 percent of Minnesota schools met all of their 2015 targets, and an additional 22 percent met all but one target. In math, 41 percent of schools met 2015 targets, and an additional 21 percent of schools met all but one target, the Star Tribune ( reported.

"Every year we ask our schools to meet tougher and tougher targets, and every year I am inspired by the incredible dedication and passion of our educators to meet these targets and increase student achievement," Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius said in a statement.

The state's Multiple Measurements Ratings are based on how well students perform on the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments, how much student proficiency improves on that test from year to year, the graduation rate — if the school has one — and its efforts to close the achievement gap.

President Denise Specht of the teachers union Education Minnesota called the report "more good news about Minnesota education." Last week a new report said Minnesota high school students are leading the nation in ACT scores for the 10th consecutive year.

But Specht said the union "would be more excited about these results if we had faith in the underlying testing data" from the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments, which were plagued by testing glitches last spring.

"If Minnesota is going to make policy based on MCA scores, our state needs to make sure the results are trustworthy," Specht said in a news release.

The state also released a list of schools that are making significant progress in closing gaps and meeting state standards on math and reading, with 119 schools receiving the state's top recognition. Kenny Elementary was the only school in Minneapolis to be on the list. There were no schools from the St. Paul district on the list.


Information from: Star Tribune,

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