Strong Return on Investment for STMA Stakeholders

Posted on: Sep 2, 2016

STMA students again outperformed their state peers in all three content areas in all tested grades on the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA) assessments in 2016. STMA scored 12.8 percentage points higher than the state in reading, 17 points higher in math, and 19.1 points higher in science. This is despite the fact that STMA ranks 327 out of 331 school districts in school funding. “Despite receiving significantly less than most school districts in the state, we continue to make substantial progress in student learning,” said Superintendent Ann-Marie Foucault. “STMA schools are the pride and center of the community and I am very proud that St. Michael-Albertville taxpayers have a strong return on investment.”

The percent of proficient STMA students in reading was 73.6%, which is an increase from 65.5% in 2013 when the more challenging MCA III was introduced. In 2016 STMA increased 2.5% in reading while the state increased just 1%. “For the past couple of years the district has focused on taking a critical literacy approach to reading and we are excited that STMA students are reading and understanding more complex content, resulting in them being better prepared for careers and college,” stated Foucault.

The trends in math and science show similar results compared to when the more challenging MCA IIIs were introduced. The percent of STMA students proficient in math increased from 67.8% in 2012 to 77.8% in 2016 and in science from 60.8% in 2012 to 75% in 2016. Foucault said that the trend is for STMA students to exceed the state averages by increasing margins. She said that the positive trends are the result of a curriculum aligned with state standards and skilled teachers trained on highly effective instructional strategies that improve student achievement.

STMA students rank in the top 10.5% of Minnesota schools in academic achievement according to 2016 MCA combined reading and math rankings. Math ranks in the top 8.5% and reading in the top 12.5%. Not included in the rankings, science scores ranked STMA students in the top 7%. “While Education Commissioner Cassellius stated she was ‘disappointed to see the slow pace of progress,’ we are pleased with the results,” noted Foucault. “We are thrilled to have our students achieve at high levels and attain the district’s vision of ranking in the top 15% of Minnesota school districts.”

MCA IIIs, required by state and federal law, are used as one tool to help schools gauge students’ progress in meeting expectations on Minnesota state standards for reading, math and science. Standards determine what students need to know and be able to do. Teachers and local school districts select the curriculum, materials and lessons to instruct students to meet expectations for careers and college. Each year the test results are used to identify the strengths and limitations of the educational program. A complete report of the MCA results will be made to the School Board on September 19 and will be posted on the district website

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