September 9, 2014 Community news from the prairie to the lakes  
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  WCA students show improvement in state math, reading test scores  
  WCA North students on their first day of school.

West Central Area students showed improvement in the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA) test results for reading and math that were administered to students in 3rd through 8th grade last spring. In addition 10th graders were tested in reading and 11th graders were tested in math.

The Minnesota Department of Education released test results last Wednesday morning. From a state level, test scores of Minnesota elementary through high school students seem stuck at the same place they were last year. Still, state education officials hope steady growth in math, reading and science scores over the last several years will help all students in the future.

“Steady improvement is exactly what we’re looking for,” said Brenda Cassellius, Minnesota’s education department commissioner. She maintains it’s the longer term trends that matter when it comes to MCA scores.

“You take 2, 3 percent each year in an entire state, and moving an entire system, within a decade you’ve seen a 20 percent increase,” she said.

But at WCA the scores were up: 220 students, or 61 percent, were found proficient in math; and 254, or 68 percent, were found proficient in reading. This compares to 56 percent proficient in math in 2013, and 57 percent in reading.

Statewide, 62 percent were found proficient in math and 59 percent in reading.

A breakdown of grades shows that of WCA 5th and 6th graders, 54 percent were proficient in math and 75 percent in reading. At WCA North Elementary, 74 percent were proficient in math and 74 percent proficient in reading. Last year those numbers were 48 percent and 37 percent. At WCA South Elementary, 69 percent were proficient in math and 62 percent in reading. Last year, those numbers were 63 percent and 53 percent. At the Secondary School, 58 percent were proficient in math and 64 percent in reading. Last year, those numbers were 51 percent and 53 percent.

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September 9, 2014