Third and fifth graders do well on test scores

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 6/16/99.

Paynesville had good solid results in the 1999 Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA) tests. Paynesville third and fifth graders were near or above the state average in many areas, said Danith Clausen, Paynesville curriculum coordinator.

"We had a real respectable showing at levels two and three. I'm really pleased with the writing results," Clausen added.

"Next year, I'll be anxious to see the reading scores as this was Paynesville's first year in the accelerated reading program. The scores should move up as the students gain more experience with the program," Clausen said.

According to the Minnesota Department of Children, Families, and Learning, Minnesota public schools third and fifth graders showed progress in academic skills measured in the 1999 MCA. Compared with last year's results, more students demonstrated a grasp of challenging subject matter.

"It is encouraging to see our students responding to challenge," said Christine Jax, Minnesota education commissioner. "One cannot draw sweeping conclusions from just two years of test results, but this is certainly a hopeful indication that high statewide standards are working in public schools. Though we must continue to improve, students, parents, teachers, and education leaders throughout the state can feel proud of the progress we all have made this year.

Test Results: District scores - State Averages

Grade 3




Level 1 14 - 21 9 - 12  
Level 2 37 - 39 45 - 46  
Level 3 44 - 32 43 - 33  
Level 4 5 - 8 3 - 9  

Grade 5

Level 1 15 - 18 17 - 18 2 - 5
Level 2 35 - 37 53 - 45 49 - 50
Level 3 42 - 33 27 - 31 48 - 42
Level 4 8 - 12 3 - 6 1 - 3

The MCA tests measure core reading and mathematics skills for third and fifth graders and writing skills for fifth graders only.

Statewide tests are given to measure each student's achievement of the basics. Students must be able to demonstrate a reasonable understanding of factual information.

In the reading tests, students must read a passage and be able to identify the main idea, recognize supporting information; identify the meaning of words and phrases; recognize the authors point of view; draw logical conclusions; and distinguish between fact and opinion. In the math test students must be able to solve problems involving whole numbers, fractions, decimals, and integers; solve problems involving percents, rates, ratios, and proportions; use estimation in problem solving; apply measurement concepts.

Scores fall in achievement levels ranging from level one on the low end of the scale to level four on the high end. Most students' scores fall in level two, representing a wide range of perform-ance at or near grade level. Overall, the percentage of students with scores in level one decreased while those with scores in levels two through four increased.

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