This week, the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) officially released results of the 2016 Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA). Students in Grades 3-8 take MCAs in mathematics and reading. High School students take the reading MCA in Grade 10 and a mathematics assessment in Grade 11. Students also take a science MCA in Grades 5, 8, and once in high school (after completion of Biology). You can review Northfield’s detailed results at the Minnesota Report Card site.

Some thoughts on Northfield’s 2016 results:

  • If we look at the district as a whole, our grade level performance in reading and mathematics is once again above the state average.
  • While we are pleased with the overall results, we recognize some demographic groups are not yet performing as well as their peers across the state.
  • As a district committed to continuous improvement, we will continue to work hard and seek breakthrough instructional practices that help allour students reach academic proficiency.
  • Many factors influence student achievement. We will relentlessly pursue avenues that accelerate our students’ learning so they are ready to be productive members of society upon graduation. Whether they choose a two or four year college/technical school, enter the workforce, or serve our country through military or other volunteer service, we want all kids to face their future with the necessary skills and confidence to be successful.
  • As a school community, we care deeply about students. Assessment scores are one aspect of our children’s educational experience, albeit an important indicator of their academic progress. We believe in supporting the whole student – academically, socially, and emotionally.

One other set of data we recently received: 86% of the Advanced Placement (AP) tests taken at Northfield High School in 2016 had a score that could earn the student college credit. This means that 339 of 394 exams taken earned a 3, 4, or 5 on their AP exams.

State and national assessments can provide us information about our students and school system. However, that information is only useful when analyzed and used by dedicated educators who have have developed high quality relationships with students and are committed to helping every child succeed. Our team at Northfield Public Schools fits that description. We are looking forward to making a difference for all kids during the 2016-17 school year – which is just 38 days away!