Test scores above state average; Park and Oltman show big jumpsPark High School Principal Efe Agbamu said she’s pleased that the school’s 11th-grade Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment math scores show a 14 percent increase over last year.
By: Judy Spooner, South Washington County Bulletin
Park High School Principal Efe Agbamu said she’s pleased that the school’s 11th-grade Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment math scores show a 14 percent increase over last year.
In 2008, statewide, high school juniors scored low on the test and Park scores were below the state average. This year, tests showed an 8 percent increase statewide, according to the Minnesota Department of Education.
“I give my teachers a ‘10,’” Agbamu said.
Agbamu said the whole school rallied around an effort to build student confidence that they could improve on last year’s test scores.
Math teachers gave up their prep time to help students who were behind.
“We don’t want to wait until a child fails to help them,” Agbamu said. “We don’t want a quick fix, we want fundamental change.”
Park 10th-grade students showed a 7 percent increase over last year, according to Agbamu.
Parents and students were hoping kids would do well on state tests, said Oltman Junior High School Principal Becky Schroeder.
In-district computer tests showed Oltman students had improved and exceeded the goal set by teachers for a 3 percent jump.
Actual state tests for Oltman showed a 10 percent improvement in reading.
Overall the district “made some nice improvements,” said Rick Spicuzza, assistant superintendent for curriculum and assessment, in an interview June 30.
Reading and math tests were given in grades three through eight.
Overall, the state went up 1.3 percent in reading with the district averaging a 2.5 percent gain.
District math scores were up 3 percent compared to a state average of 2 percent.
Park’s scores showed improvement, Spicuzza said, noting that that this year’s test was more rigorous than last year’s.
Park and Woodbury high schools are now statistically above the state average.
Because of last year’s low math scores statewide, this year’s Legislature revised the rule that requires, for the first time, that 11th-grade students pass the math test to graduate.
The new rule states that those who fail the test will be able to re-take it three times. If they still fail, they graduate anyway.
District Superintendent Mark Porter said that there are reasons to celebrate some test results adding that the effort to improve needs to continue.
Gaps between males and females in reading continue to persist at all grade levels, Spicuzza said, with girls outscoring boys.
Gaps between minority students and those not proficient in English and white students continue to be an issue at the state and local level, although some schools appear to be doing better, Spicuzza said.