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Minnesota school district with ‘second highest’ math proficiency only a C+

By now, most have read about the drop in Minnesota students’ test scores and the little improvement made to combat persistent academic achievement gaps. But perhaps more telling is that the state’s “best” public schools are only at a C+ in math proficiency.

Westonka Public Schools announced its students scored among the top districts in the state on the spring 2019 Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs) and Minnesota Test of Academic Skills (MTAS). The district highlighted that its schools had the second highest percent of proficient students in math in the state—at 78 percent.

What does this say about the state of Minnesota’s education system? There is an all-too-familiar trend of mediocre performance in math and reading proficiency that hasn’t hardly changed in more than a decade. If the state truly wants to solve its stubborn achievement gaps and improve academic outcomes for all students, it needs to stop using the same approach over and over again while crossing its fingers for different results.

The results are in, Minnesota. The school district with the second-highest math proficiency is still only average. This means too many students are either stuck in a mediocrity trap or at failing schools. We can and must do better. All our students deserve access to educational options and resources that meet their needs, and this can be accomplished through expanded school choice.

Look for my education report coming out this winter exploring the relationship between Minnesota’s education system and state spending.




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