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South Washington County Schools test scores remain above state average

School District 833 students continue to score higher than the state average in math and reading, according to Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment II test results from the state department of education released today.

Sixty-five percent of South Washington County Schools students were proficient in math while the state average was 49 percent.

All students in grades 3-8 were tested in reading and math and 11th graders were tested in math.

The state average reading proficiency across all grades tested was 75 percent. Eighty-six percent of District 833 students were proficient.

Of the district's three high schools, Woodbury saw the largest math gains. There was a 22 percent increase in 11th-grade math scores to 80 percent, compared to the 2010 scores.

Seventy-three percent of East Ridge High School students were proficient in math, an increase of 7 percent over last year.

There was no change in the average math proficiency at Park High School, which remained at 48 percent.

In the 10th-grade reading tests, Woodbury showed an increase from 91 to 93 percent with Park scores at 81 percent, up five percent over last year. There was no change in East Ridge scores that stayed at 89 percent.

Math scores statewide for grades 3-8 were down 10 percent from last year with a 20 percent drop in fifth-grade scores. District 833 scores also dropped.

The 2010-11 math test was different, according to Rick Spicuzza, district assistant superintendent for curriculum and assessment, and cannot be compared to the previous year's test.

The standards that were tested have a different emphasis and the test was "more challenging," he said.

Math results in the district's traditionally high-performing schools, such as Liberty Ridge Elementary School in Woodbury, reflected that decline, with fifth-grade proficiency dropping to 72 percent, a 12-percent decline.

The largest decline in math proficiency was at Pullman Elementary School in St. Paul Park, which saw a drop from 76 percent to 33 percent drop. Pine Hill Elementary in Cottage Grove saw its fifth-grade math proficiency decline from 59 percent to 34 percent.

Pullman saw gains in reading proficiency, however. Fifth-grade reading proficiency jumped from 65 percent last year to 74 percent.

Standardized test scores determine which schools end up on a list of buildings "not making adequate yearly progress" under the federal No Child Left Behind law. The criteria for proficiency goes up every year.

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.
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