Local school districts fare well on state math, science and reading testsStudents from Cloquet and Esko performed very well compared to state averages in results of MCA II and MCA III test batteries released recently by the Minnesota Department of Education.
By: Jeff Papas, Pine Journal
Students from Cloquet and Esko performed very well compared to state averages in results of MCA II and MCA III test batteries released recently by the Minnesota Department of Education.
Students in various grades were tested in reading, math and science at different points during the last school year. Esko students were among the best in the area in all exams.
Esko scores were 12.8 percent ahead of state averages in math, 13.3 percent ahead of state averages in reading with a proficiency rate of 89.3 percent, and 12 percent ahead of state averages in science.
“We were very proud of our kids this year,” Esko Superintendent Aaron Fischer said. “Our kids did better in some subjects than ever before. Our teachers do a terrific job of understanding the standards and learning to communicate them and teach them to the students. [The state] also gave us more than one chance to take the test so we could work with students who needed it. If you get good data into the hands of good professionals, good things happen.”
Meanwhile, Cloquet School District students outperformed the state average in 12 of 13 statewide testing benchmarks.
Students in grades three, five, six, eight and 10 from across the state were tested in reading last spring, and in Cloquet all grades except the sophomores outperformed state proficiency scores. However, the 10th-graders came through with a 76.7 percent proficiency rating, just one-tenth of a point behind the state average.
In science, grades five, eight and all high school students were tested, again on the MCA II battery earlier in the 2011-12 school year, and in math students in grades three, five, six, eight and 11 were examined through the MCA III battery.
In Cloquet, all grades outperformed the state average by at least 5.8 percent, with the fifth graders 15.2 percent better than their peers statewide in math.
“Over the last several years, we’ve been very pleased with the Cloquet School District’s performance in testing,” Superintendent Ken Scarbrough said. “We need to keep doing more and we know that, but our teachers deserve great credit for the job they do.”
The single best performance compared to state average was turned in by Cromwell-Wright math students, who checked in with an 86 percent proficiency rating, an impressive 20.6 percent ahead of the state average.