A message from Superintendent Valeria Silva
The Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA) results for the past school year have been released, so you can expect to hear about this in the news media today and this week. The MCA is the standardized test taken last spring by students across the state in grades 3-8 (for math), grades 3-8 and 10 (for reading), and grades 5, 8 and high school (for science). MCAs were also taken by students in grade 11, but because that was a new test this year, the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) has not yet released those results.
While you and I know that what happens in our classroom can never be fully measured by a standardized test, these are the results on which the success or failure of education is judged in our country today.
In St. Paul, we are happy with the healthy reading gains the MCAs indicate in Grades 3 and 5, and the overall modest increase in reading and science scores across the district. We congratulate staff and students on those improvements and want to be sure to celebrate these bright spots.
We remain concerned, however, at the lack of acceleration in our scores, and do not believe that our results accurately reflect the level of planning and effort put forth by both the staff and students of Saint Paul Public Schools.
Saint Paul Public Schools, like every other urban school district in this nation, continues to search for the perfect mix of programming, professional development, and community support that will propel our students’ academic achievement.
I also want everyone to remember that an additional benchmark of academic gain includes the Multiple Measurement Ratings (MMRs), which will be released by MDE later in October. In addition to proficiency, the MMRs measure student growth, achievement gap reduction, and – for high schools – graduation rates. We look forward to analyzing our growth results since they show progress from year to year measured by individual student change in MCA scores.
As always, we take these results seriously, and place them in the context of a multi-year strategic plan that implemented many difficult changes. I commend you all for your hard work and ask that you maintain your courage, turn to your colleagues for support as we move forward this year, and work harder than ever to continue making the improvements to education in SPPS that our students deserve.
Your very proud superintendent,
To see more District results on the 2014 MCA-III, see MDE's Minnesota Report Card.
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