Archive for July, 2009

Test scores decrease for 281 elementary students

July 9, 2009

While secondary student’s reading and math scores improved this past year, elementary scores decreased — and 281 schools performed lower than other schools in the state. According to the MN Sun Post:

Robbinsdale Area Schools’ secondary students’ reading and math scores on the recent Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA-II) math and reading tests MCA-II continued to improve.

But math and reading scores at the elementary schools decreased.

The Minnesota Department of Education on July 1 released the results of state tests taken by students this spring, including results of the 2009 Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment II (MCA-II) and the results of the writing, reading and math Graduation-Required Assessments for Diploma (GRAD).

Test scores for District 281 students in both reading and math were lower than the state average, though changing demographics in the Robbinsdale district have made comparisons to state average scores less relevant, according to a news release from the district.

Changing demographics are a weak excuse in our opinion. What are the district’s plans to improve performance?

The district has begun training teachers in a process called Response to Intervention (RTI), which provides a series of increasingly intensive, individualized interventions to students who show signs of learning difficulties.

Next year, federal stimulus dollars will be used to hire instructional coaches, who will support the implementation of the RTI model.

In addition, the district will begin piloting two scientifically based reading programs at the elementary level next year. The new curriculum will be introduced district wide during the 2010-11 school year.

The district also is introducing a new GRAD math course at the high school level next year. The course is designed to provide additional instruction for those students who are not on track to pass the GRAD test.

By the way, welcome to new Superintendent Dr. Aldo Sicoli who began his job July 1. In the Sun-Post article Sicoli said,

“Test results show students continue to learn, though we are always striving for higher achievement. As the new superintendent, I am committed to working with staff, students and parents to enhance existing programs and implement new programs that will increase achievement.”