ST. PAUL (Aug. 1, 2012) — Both math and reading MCA-II/MCA-III results showed small improvements over last year, with stronger growth in the early grades, the Saint Paul Public Schools reported on Wednesday.
“The steady growth in reading proficiency in the early grades shows our plan is on track,” said SPPS Superintendent Valeria Silva. “This is the result of systems we’ve put in place over the last few years – PreK and all-day kindergarten first, then also a reading curriculum and assessment tool that allow teachers to focus instruction in the areas each student needs support most. It’s all about targeted instruction for all students. Teachers have been the key to our progress so far and they will be the leaders of our future progress.”
The curricular and instructional systems changes were made as a result of the district’s Strong Schools, Strong Communities strategic plan, now in the second of three years of implementation.
“Are we satisfied with these results?” Silva continued. “No. We won’t be happy with these results until we reach our goals. But we knew we wouldn’t transform learning in St. Paul overnight. We’re laying the groundwork to expand targeted instruction across the district, including by asking voters to support a learning technology system that will significantly enhance individualized learning.”
• At the district level, the percent proficient increased slightly by 1.2 percentage points to 57.2 percent.
• The percent proficient was at or above 50 percent across all grades.
• The percent proficient was highest in Grade 3 (63.2 percent) and lowest in Grade 8 (50.6 percent).
• With the exception of Grade 4, the results at the elementary level were above 60 percent. Secondary results were between 50.6 percent and 56.4 percent.
• At the secondary level, the highest percent proficient was in Grade 10 (56.4 percent).
• There were small but consistent improvements in the percent proficient across all student groups. The highest increase was in the American Indian student group (2.9 percent) and lowest in the Hispanic student group (.8 percent).
• There was a decrease in the achievement gap between the American Indian and Caucasian student groups. There was no decrease in the achievement gap across the other three student groups.
• At the district level, the percent proficient increased less than one percentage point to 41.3 percent.
• The percent proficient in 2012 is highest in Grade 3 (51.4 percent) and lowest in Grade 11 (26.6 percent).
• In general results, are higher in the elementary grades (3-5) and lower in the secondary grades (7,8, 11).
• There was an increase in the percent proficient in 2012 in the Caucasian student group of 1.6 percent. Since performance across all other groups either decreased or increased only slightly, there was no improvement in closing the achievement gap between the Caucasian student group and the other four student groups.
School-specific highlights include:
Two schools achieved improvements above 5 percent in the percent proficient from 2011 to 2012 in both reading and math. The schools and their gains are:
• Bruce Vento Elementary — Math 8 percent, Reading 5 percent
• Groveland Park Elementary — Math 8 percent; Reading 7 percent
• Highland Park Middle (6th grade excluded) — Math 6 percent; Reading 10 percent
Several schools achieved double-digit gains in one subject. The schools and their gains are;
• Crossroads Science — Math 11 percent
• J. J. Hill Montessori — Math 10 percent
• Phalen Lake Hmong Studies — Reading 11 percent
• Highland Park Middle (6TH grade excluded) — Reading 10 percent
• Open World Learning — Reading 21 percent
• Ramsey Junior High — Reading 11 percent
• Como Park Sr. High — Reading 12 percent