Officials: Ratings complex, but working

Hayfield students Levi Anderson and J.B. Stackhouse work on papers in their 10th grade English class Wednesday morning.

Though the new Multiple Measurement Ratings data is more complex than the old federal school standards, rural educators say the new system seems to work thus far.

Minnesota Department of Education officials publicly released MMR data Tuesday. The new system is designed to replace Adequate Yearly Progress scores under the federal No Child Left Behind law. The latest data, using schools’ 2010 and 2011 AYP scores, was released as part of an NCLB waiver state education officials brokered with the U.S. Department of Education, which stipulated MMR needed to be released by the end of the school year.

“It is old data, and it’s more or less like a dry run to see the new system that they’ve put in,” said Ron Evjen, Hayfield Community Schools Superintendent.

MMR data focuses on student growth and reducing the academic achievement gap between white and non-white/non-privileged students. The MMR benchmark reflects how well students did based on the academic growth shown in Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment scores between 2010 and 2011, the graduation rate for those years, the achievement gap between white and non-white or non-privileged students, and whether students are meeting new MCA score benchmarks.

There’s also a Focus Rating, which determines how well schools are focusing on lowering the achievement gap. State officials use the same achievement gap data under the MMR while also looking at how well non-white and non-privileged students performed on the MCA.

“It gives you more detail and where kids are not meeting the standards,” said Jerry Reshetar, Grand Meadow and Glenville/Emmons Public Schools Superintendent.

MMR also classifies schools into groups such as Reward schools, which are the top 15 percent of schools in the state that receive federal aid for its number of students in poverty, Focus schools, the 10 percent of schools which contribute the most to the state’s achievement gap, and Priority schools, which are the 5 percent lowest scoring Minnesota schools. There were no Mower County schools recognized as a Reward school based on last year’s data.

The data won’t carry much meaning until the fall, when this year’s MCA scores are released. Educators will then be able to track how well their most recent efforts to bolster student growth worked. In rural schools, the focus is often on raising free-and-reduced-lunch student and special education student scores, according to Reshetar.

“For (Grand Meadow), the key two subgroups are the free and reduced lunch population and special ed,” he said.

Yet educators say the new scores better reflect what students actually learn, as opposed to getting students to make a grade.

“We’re hoping this system will be a much fairer way of judging how schools are doing,” Evjen said.

SportsPlus

News

Biden drops out of 2024 race after disastrous debate inflamed age concerns and he endorses Harris

Mower County

Agriculture & Food Science Exploration Day a success

Crime, Courts & Emergencies

Man charged in previous criminal sexual conduct charged again

News

COVID-19 trends are up and bird flu continues to increase in Minnesota

Mower County

Cedar Summerstock opens ‘School of Rock’ July 25

Mower County

In Your Community: Mower County Senior Center

Mower County

In Your Community: Duplicate Bridge

News

Majority of Democrats think Kamala Harris would make a good president, AP-NORC poll shows

News

Some GOP voters welcome Trump’s somewhat softened tone at Republican National Convention

News

For Catholic pilgrims, all roads lead to Indy for an old-style devotion in modern stadium setting

Crime, Courts & Emergencies

Convictions: July 8-15

News

Widespread technology outage disrupts flights, banks, media outlets and companies around the world

Mower County

PHOTOS: Night of competition

News

Law change aims to ease truck driver testing backlog

Crime, Courts & Emergencies

Austin woman facing several charges related to pull-tab scheme

News

Comedian Bob Newhart, deadpan master of sitcoms and telephone monologues, dies at 94

News

Obama, Pelosi and other Democrats make a fresh push for Biden to reconsider 2024 race

Crime, Courts & Emergencies

APD warns public to be alert to rental listing scams

News

FAFSA completion rates still down in Minnesota, though things are improving

Albert Lea

Albert Lea Civic Music announces season lineup

Mower County

Parks and Rec to begin work on replacing playground surfacing due to June flooding

Blooming Prairie

Blooming Prairie Ribfest cooking up funds for fundraiser

Mower County

City to spray for mosquitos Friday

Local Government

City Council okays preliminary planning funds for Whitewater Project