MCA-II scores a mixed bag

Published 2:41 pm Saturday, July 3, 2010

Austin public school officials received a mixture of success and disappointment Thursday when the Minnesota Department of Education released the results of the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment II tests (MCA-II).

The test results revealed that Austin increased its overall math test scores by 2 percent to 62 percent. On the other side, Austin slipped 4 percent in its reading scores this year to 65 percent. This is the second year in a row that Austin’s reading scores have decreased.

The tests, required by federal No Child Left Behind laws, present a multitude of data that school officials can use to see how their students compare to last year and to other schools in the state.

“At this point, we’re going look at data so see why it is what it is,” said Austin Superintendent David Krenz.

Statewide, 66.1 percent of students tested at proficient levels in math, while the percent of students who tested at proficient levels in reading averaged at 72.5 percent. This places Austin 4 percent behind the state average in Math and 7 percent behind in reading.

Krenz indicated that increased class sizes and decreased funding could be contributing factors to Austin’s test scores.

“No new funds means class sizes go up, which means less resources to go around,” said Krenz, “What we do know is if we completely focused our resources in one area, the students would be guaranteed to succeed. However, our lack of extra resources would mean we would have to eliminate other programs to do that. It’s not simply a matter of trying harder.”

Krenz also indicated that the growing population of English Language Learner students could contribute to the reading score, but stressed that it was a combination of all the factors involved.

“We’re trying to take all these different things into consideration. Score changes do not happen over night, we have to work over several years to help students,” said Krenz

The school district has not yet announced any new plans for addressing Austin’s scores except for the already scheduled implementation of a new math curriculum next year.

MATH SCORES

Third grade

Did not meet standards: 4.9

Partically met standards: 18

Met standards: 45.9

Exceeded standards: 31.1

Fourth grade

Did not meet standards: 5.4

Partially met standards: 11.4

Met standards: 47.3

Exceeded 36

Fifth grade

Did not meet standards: 20.6

Partially met standards: 27.9

Met standards: 34.1

Exceeded standards: 17.4

Sixth grade

Did not meet standards: 12.2

Partially met standards: 28.3

Met standards: 40.2

Exceeded standards: 19.2

Seventh grade

Did not meet standards: 12.5

Partially met standards: 16.7

Met standards: 43.2

Exceeded standards: 27.5

11th grade

Did not meet standards: 40.9

Partially met standards: 21.1

Met standards: 27.2

Exceeded standards: 10.7

READING

Third grade

Did not meet standards: 19

Partially met standards: 14.8

Met standards: 28.4

Exceeded standards: 37.8

Fourth grade

Did not meet standards: 12.2

Partially met standards: 19

Met standards: 39.4

Exceeded standards: 29.4

Fifth grade

Did not meet standards: 12.4

Partially met standards: 20.1

Met standards: 45.2

Exceeded standards: 22.3

Sixth grade

Did not meet standards: 12.7

Partially met standards: 26.7

Met standards: 34.3

Exceeded standards: 26.3

Seventh grade

Did not meet standards: 13.4

Partially met standards: 21.7

Met standards: 28.3

Exceeded standards: 36.6

Eighth grade

Did not meet standards: 14

Partially met standards: 27.6

Met standards: 31.6

Exceeded standards: 26.8

10th grade

Did not meet standards: 8.9

Partially met standards: 20.9

Met standards: 33.1

Exceeded standards: 37.1