Some GOOD NEWS to Report!

We are often critical of District 281, or as we see it public education generally speaking, but even WE can’t find anything negative in latest round of ACT scores.  Here is the article from the District’s website…

Average composite ACT college entrance exam scores were up for students in Robbinsdale Area Schools in 2010. On average, students at Robbinsdale Armstrong and Robbinsdale Cooper High Schools scored 22.6 out of 36 possible points on the test, up from 22.4 a year ago. Robbinsdale students have scored above the state average for eight of the last eleven years and well above the national average for the past eleven years.  The national average score was 21.0 this year, while the state average increased to 22.9 this year.

“We are most excited about the increasing percentage of our students taking the ACT,” said Aldo Sicoli, superintendent of Robbinsdale Area Schools. “The more students taking the ACT, the more that are prepared for post-secondary education.” A total of 635 of approximately 850 Cooper and Armstrong seniors took the ACT, more than at any time in the last five years.

In response to the district’s Strategic Plan goal to raise expectations and increase academic rigor for all students, both schools have succeeded in increasing the number of students taking rigorous courses.  The percentage of students who have taken what ACT labels as “core classes” has increased each of the last two years from 55% of test takers in 2008 to 83% in 2010.  In addition, the schools are working to increase participation in support programs such as AVID, which teaches students academic and study skills, and Admission Possible, which helps promising, low-income students obtain admission to college. While the number of African American and Asian American students taking the test has risen the percentage of these students that have taken the courses to prepare them for post-secondary education has also increased.  For example, less than half of the African American students taking the ACT in 2008 had taken the courses needed to prepare for college compared to more than three-quarters in 2010.   “We would like to continue to increase the number of students of color taking courses to prepare them for post-secondary education as well as taking the ACT exam,” Sicoli added.

The ACT is the primary college entrance exam taken by Minnesota students.  It can also serve to compare the preparedness of our college-bound population to the state and the nation.  The test is a curriculum-based achievement test that covers English, mathematics, reading and science reasoning, plus an optional writing test.  It includes 215 multiple-choice questions.

This looks like good news all around.  Our test scores improved, we are right at about the state average, and we are above the national average.  Good work kids AND staff (the unions not withstanding).   More kids are taking the exam and more kids are passing…even the kids in so-called poverty! You see, everyone can learn!

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