Since being released at the end of August, Minnesota schools like Clarkfield Area Charter School, have been busy reviewing the latest Multiple Measurement Rating data for the past school year.
CACS was recognized a year ago as a 'Reward School' after the first round of the Multiple Measurement Rating (MMR); marking the school as one of the best performing schools in the state on the standardized test used by the state to measure accountability.
This year, the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) reported that an MMR score cannot be generated for CACS due to the school not having enough measurements to measure.
"I'm guessing a little bit here, but based on the response we received from MDE, we must be right on the borderline for the MMR measurements... Right where a one or two student change decides whether we get measured or not," said CACS Lead Teacher Kathy Koetter.
According to the MDE, in order for a school to receive an MMR, the school must have two or more measurements. Elementary schools are measured in proficiency, growth and achievement. To get a score in any of those measurements, a school must have at least 20 students that apply to those three subsets. CACS did not have enough students that qualified for measurement in the growth, or the achievement-gap-reduction measurements. Thus, an MMR score was not generated.
Yet, the school did still receive proficiency scores from the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA) standardized test (the same test used to generate the MMR). That test still proved the school's general proficiency in the standardized test arena for a second straight year.
In math, with 30 students tested at CACS, 80 percent qualified as proficient. Comparatively, statewide, 76 percent recorded proficient scores.
In reading, the scores are broken down as: exceeding the achievement level, meeting the achievement level, partially meeting the achievement level and not meeting the achievement level. At CACS, 80 percent of the students tested either met or exceeded the achievement level with 33 percent exceeding and 47 percent meeting the standards.
Statewide, 76 percent of students met, or exceeded the achievement level with 42.4 percent exceeding and 33.6 percent meeting the standards.
"Just by looking at the scores," commented Koetter. "If we'd have had enough students, it's my feeling that we would have been a 'Reward School' again... But still, we're steadily increasing our scores and academically we're still on track with our strategic plan for the school. If I had to set a goal, I would say that now we're reaching for that 90 percent level in proficiency."