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Superintendent's Column 9-7-13

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news Morris, 56267
Morris Sun Tribune
320-589-4357 customer support
Morris Minnesota 607 Pacific Avenue 56267

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The Minnesota Department of Education recently released results from student assessments that Morris Area School District students took during the winter and spring of 2013. These student assessments, which are primarily referred to as Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments, are yearly tests students in grades 3-8, 10, and 11 take.

These tests are used as one tool to help schools gauge students' progress in meeting expectations on Minnesota state standards for reading, math, and science. The online tests in 2013 marked the first year students took revised tests in reading that were based on more rigorous standards to help prepare them to be career and college ready when they graduate. The overall goal is to have 100 percent of students in each grade level reach the "proficiency" level or better.

When compared to the state average, here is how Morris Area students did:

• Third grade: 90.6 percent of Morris students were proficient in math and 70.6 percent of Morris students were proficient in reading, exceeding the state average by 19.1 percent in math and 13.4 percent in reading.

• Fourth grade: 84.3 percent of Morris students were proficient in math and 63.9 percent of Morris students were proficient in reading, exceeding the state average by 13.1 percent in math and 9.9 percent in reading.

• Fifth grade: 83.3 percent of Morris students were proficient in math and 78.8 percent of Morris students were proficient in reading, exceeding the state average by 23.3 percent in math and 15.0 percent in reading.

• Sixth grade: 57.4 percent of Morris students were proficient in math and 46.8 percent of Morris students were proficient in reading, exceeding the state average by 7.4 percent in math but 12.5 percent below the state average in reading.

• Seventh grade: 71.6 percent of Morris students were proficient in math and 49.3 percent of Morris students were proficient in reading, exceeding the state average by 15.6 percent in math but 4.7 v below the state average in reading.

• Eighth grade: 65.2 percent of Morris students were proficient in math and 46.7 percent of Morris students were proficient in reading, exceeding the state average by 6.3 percent in math but 7.4 percent below the state average in reading.

• Tenth grade: 78.0 percent of Morris students were proficient in reading, exceeding the state average by 15.7 percent.

• Eleventh grade: 47.8 percent of Morris students were proficient in math, or 4.6 percent below the state average.

Morris Area students also fared well compared to neighboring districts, exceeding the average of ten other school districts in ten of the 14 assessments. The MCA's are used in conjunction with other assessments, as a part of an overall assessment plan, for a variety of things. The results are used to evaluate our effectiveness as a school and as a district, for goal setting purposes, to determine how we can best meet students' needs and challenge them when necessary, for making instructional grouping decisions, and to decide if the curricular materials we are using are effective.

If you have questions about something or wish for additional information, feel free to contact me. I can be reached at 320-589-4840 or smonson@morris.k12.mn.us.

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