The Minnesota Department of Education released the MMR (Multiple Measurement System) results for 2012. While still lagging behind state averages in many areas, YME continues to close the gap. Most notable for 2012 were the test results showing that 96.6 percent of the ninth grade students passed the state required graduation writing test. The overall state average for ninth grade students was 91.9 percent.
This is the second year student performance and school performance is being identified through MMR. MMR is an accountability system that replaced the accountability system set in place under the No Child Left Behind law. Minnesota's new accountability system takes into account the unique challenges facing each community. It provides schools with new flexibility to develop local plans that address their particular needs. MMR takes into account how students are scoring on state tests, how students are making progress towards goals, how schools are doing closing the performance gaps among groups of students and graduation rates.
Bert Raney Elementary School continues to be identified as a focus school. It is one of the schools among 85 statewide that make the biggest contribution to the state's achievement gap. YME submitted a 42 page improvement plan to MDE (Minnesota Department of Education) last year. The first area of focus was to identify the individual student weakness through NWEA and MCA data and to provide underperforming students multiple teaching and reteaching opportunities both in the classroom and through interventions. The second focus was to increase the consistency of core instruction by using common curriculum.
At 7th and 8th grade "at risk" students are being placed in a reading skills specific English course that utilizes the Read 180 program while 7th grade students not performing at grade level in math are taking part in a course called Middle School Math, a course designed to intervene as soon as possible with students who are not ready for the more advance math courses.
At the August school board meeting, YME Superintendent Al Stoeckman shared the MCA III results with the board and explained that there was still work to do. He told the board that it is important that all the teachers were on the same page. He stressed that the focus is to know that all students are being taught using the same curriculum while allowing the students to benefit from the teacher's individual style.
Graduation tests '12:
9th grade writing: 96.6 percent passed; up 10 percent from 2011. State average 91.9.
10th grade reading: 78.8 percent passed; up 9.6 percent from 2011. State average 80.4.
11th grade math: 34.8 percent passed; down 24.4 percent from 2011. State average 59.2.
Reading scores '12:
Grade 4: 60.5 percent passed; down 10.1 percent from 2011. State average 75.3
Grade 5: 58.1 percent passed; up 1.8 percent from 2011. State average 79.4.
Grade 6: 67.8 percent passed; up 9.3 percent from 2011. State average 76.3.
Grade 7: 63.2 percent passed; down 2.8 percent from 2011. State average 71.4
Page 2 of 2 - Grade 8: 60 percent passed; up 13 percent from 2011. State average 72.4.
Math scores '12:
Grade 4: 62.2 percent passed; down 1.4 percent from 2011. State average 73.3.
Grade 5: 47.9 percent passed; down 1 percent from 2011. State average 62.3.Grade 6: 43.8 percent passed; up 10.5 percent from 2011. State average 59.9.
Grade 7: 56.7 percent passed; up 1.1 percent from 2011. State average 58.6.
Grade 8: 48.1 percent passed; up 9.6 percent from 2011. State average 62.
As the new principals began their duties at YME this summer both YME High School Principal Michael Meihak and BRE Principal Melissa Hesch addressed the need to stay the course and continue to work toward improving student achievement. In a posting on the YME web site, Meihak wrote, "As always, YME High School will concentrate our efforts on bringing the best education possible to the young men and women of the district. Our state test results showed progress and improvement in many areas, we recognize that there is room to improve in many areas as well."
In a letter posted on the web site, BRE Principal Hesch wrote, "During the 2012-2013 school year Bert Raney will continue to focus on providing each child with new challenges that will result in a rewarding school experience creating "A Community of Learners Building a Foundation for Future Success". Academic emphasis on the core content areas of reading, language arts, science, social studies, and math will remain a priority as well as providing a learning program that aligns with the state standards. Our commitment will be to provide our students with research based instructional practices and learning opportunities that enhance their academic growth. In addition, we will be adding a new reading series, Journeys, by Houghton Mifflin as a component of balanced literacy. This series provides a scope and sequence of skill progression to ensure that all students receive a more consistent learning experience in reading and writing."