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Math, reading scores higher than state average

School District 833 students beat statewide averages in math and reading scores on their Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment II test.

This spring, approximately 9,000 School District 833 students took the tests. Results show that 75 percent are proficient in math, compared with 66 percent statewide, and 80 percent are proficient in reading, compared with 72 percent statewide, according to the Minnesota Department of Education.

Tests are given in April to students in grades three to eight in reading and math, in 10th-grade in reading and 11th-grade in math.

In its first year of testing, East Ridge High School scored better than Park and Woodbury high schools with 66 percent of students proficient in math. At Woodbury, 58 percent of students are proficient in math; up 2 percent from last year and 48 percent of Park students are proficient in math, up 3 percent from last year, according to district Communications Director Barb Brown.

Students at Woodbury are 91 percent proficient in reading, up 3 percent from last year. East Ridge students are 89 percent proficient and Park is 76 percent, down 3 percent from last year.

Woodbury Middle School had the highest gains of the middle schools with a 9 percent increase with 78 percent of student proficient in math and a 12 percent increase in reading to 80 percent proficiency.

Cottage Grove and Lake middle schools' scores remained constant or had slight gains, according to Brown.

However, Oltman Middle School tests showed a 3 percent drop in math and 8 percent in reading.

All but four of 14 elementary schools increased math scores with "significant gains" at Armstrong, Bailey, Pine Hill and Pullman elementary schools from 6 to 10 percent.

The highest gains in reading were also made at Armstrong, Bailey, Pine Hill and Woodbury elementary schools from 6 to 10 percent.

When comparing test scores from year to year, parents should keep in mind that last year's third-grade, for example, has a different group of students taking the tests.

According to the state department of education, reading and math tests are being revised for grades three to eight for next year.

This year's District 833 ninth-graders took a writing test with 94.3 percent proficient, compared with 89 percent statewide.

Standards required for high school graduation are embedded within MCA II tests.

For grade 10, 84 percent of district students passed and are eligible for diplomas, compared to 78 percent statewide, according to Brown.

Students have additional chances to pass the test, and can get remedial help.

In math, 71 percent of 11th-grade students passed the math test, up 5 percent from last year.

Due to a change in graduation requirements by the Legislature, students who do not meet math standards can be re-tested twice and should participate in getting remedial help. If they meet all other graduation requirements, they can graduate without passing the embedded questions, which include information from algebra I and II.

Judy Spooner
Judy Spooner is the longest-serving staff writer at the South Washington County Bulletin. Spooner, who covers education and features in addition to writing a weekly column, has been with the newspaper for over 30 years.
(651) 459-7600