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Poor scores for BEA, USC

Schools fall far short of state average on tests

September 1, 2013
by Lacey Sawatzky - Register Staff Writer (lsawatzky@faribaultcountyregister.com) , Faribault County Register

Receiving a low mark on a test has often evoked a feeling of anxiety for students.

Recently, schools around the state of Minnesota including Blue Earth Area and United South Central are experiencing that same feeling after getting results back from the 2013 Minnesota Comprehensive Assesment (MCA) test.

And, both Faribault County schools seemed to run into the same problem areas; math and reading.

Blue Earth Area superintendent Evan Gough says the results for BEA? were below standards.

"We are concerned with our MCA test scores from this past school year," Gough says.

The results show a percentage for proficiency in each subject to see how the students perform each year in comparison to the statewide academic standards.

"We were below the state average in several grades, in both math and reading,"?the superintendent adds.

BEA test results showed the students at a 51.7 percent proficiency in math and 51.7 proficiency in reading.

Last year, the math results showed them at 60.7 percent proficiency and reading at a 75.2 percent proficiency level.

Although math and reading saw a decline, the BEA results showed an increase in their science scores. In 2012, they had a 44.6 percent proficiency rating, but in 2013 they were at 54.2 percent.

"As a school district, we are dedicated to improving our proficiency rates,"?Gough adds. "We look forward to engaging parents and community members in our efforts to improve the learning of all of our students."

USC ran into similar findings after receiving their test results. The results for USC's reading dropped from 81.1 percent proficiency to 59.2 percent. Their math score, while less dramatic, still decreased from 68.7 percent in 2012 to 68.1 percent in 2013.

And, also similar to the patterns at BEA, USC?students' proficiency in science showed an increase.

In 2012, the science scores were at a 35.8 percent proficiency. This year, they performed at a 60.1 percent proficiency level.

According to a news release from the Minnesota Department of Education, these results seem to be trending in many of the schools around the state.

The release explains that this year the reading standards were raised and presented a more challenging test, and a decline in scores was to be expected.

However, it's not all bad news. ACT results came back and looked better than ever.

"We are very pleased with our ACT scores from last year,"?Gough says.

He says the average composite score for BEA?students was 23.5 while the state average was at 23.0.

"The state of Minnesota has the highest average ACT?composite score in the nation,"?Gough adds.

So, while BEA is up to par on some tests such as the ACTs, they aren't as close to the standards set by the Minnesota Department of Education when it comes to the MCAs.

 
 

 

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