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MCA scores help inform District continuous improvement efforts

Aug. 10, 2017 – Edina Public Schools (EPS) continues to be academically one of the highest performing districts in the state, according to the 2017 Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA) results, which the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) released Monday.

“Edina can be proud of its continued work in serving students well and the resultant overall high achievement levels,” said Superintendent John Schultz. “However, we know that disparities continue to exist and that we have work to do eliminate the achievement gap and ensure that we are serving the unique needs of all Edina students.”

EPS scores in reading rose slightly from 78.8 to 80.1 percent, seeing increases in proficiency for nearly every grade level, and were 19.7 points above the state reading scores. EPS math proficiency dropped slightly last year, but remained relatively flat when looking at multi-year trends. Similar to reading, math scores also exceeded the state by 20.2 points. EPS science scores fell by four points from last year, but exceeded the state science scores by 13.2 points.

“We expect to see small fluctuations in proficiency from year to year,” said Donna Roper, director of research and evaluation. “When we examine the overall mean scores, we see that performance, while generally strong, remains relatively flat.”

The MCAs are state tests in reading, math and science that measure schools’ alignment with state standards, and are used to meet federal and state legislative requirements. MCA tests are administered each spring to all public school students in grades 3-8 and 10 for reading; grades 3- 8 and 11 for math; and grades 5, 8 and 10 or 11 for science.

Roper said that they will be looking deeper at the data to assess progress and growth areas at each grade level and within different student populations. “We have made a more concerted effort this past year to look at individual student needs and are pleased to see growth in our younger grades in reading,” she said, noting an increase of 11 points for black students in both grades three and four.   

Recognizing that numerous factors can affect test scores and that the MCAs are just one measure of student performance, the EPS administrators and staff will look closely at this data, along with other student achievement indicators, as a part of the continuous improvement process at both the district and site levels, Roper said.

“We know that these test results offer one snapshot of how well [EPS] is doing in educating the student body as a whole, with regards to the Minnesota state standards.” said Schultz. “Yet, we know that we must continue to find ways to better personalize learning for each and every student if we are going to improve the performance of each and every student. By remaining focused on this All for All mission, and using a variety of student data, Edina will ensure that students are better prepared for college, career and life.”

View the EPS MCA scores, as well as other District and school data, on MDE's Minnesota Report Card.