Released MCA test scores for the Clarkfield Area Charter School show that administrators and faculty are continuing on the right track with educating their students.
With all the grades averaged, reading and math scores were above the state level of proficiency. Grade by grade numbers were mostly near or above the state average, the one exception being proficiency in science, which is measured only in the 5th grade.
But as CACS Director Kathy Koetter pointed out, these test scores are not the whole story.
According to Koetter, part of the problem with the MCA tests is that they only include testing the 3rd to the 6th grade. On top of that, smaller class sizes can further skew the scores. With the 6th grade having a class size of five, for example, a student who doesn't pass a skill drops the whole grade's proficiency by 20 points.
"If a student didn't have breakfast or isn't feeling well, it can change our total score dramatically," Koetter said.
Koetter says that NWEA tests are better, as they can gauge strengths and weaknesses on a more individual level, as well as covering K-6. Comparisons aside, which test is better still isn't the important factor to Koetter.
"We just want to see growth," Koetter said. "It doesn't matter where they start, just that they are improving."
Possible inadequacies with MCA aside, the CACS still takes MCA results in consideration when planning goals for the school year.
The CACS does not qualify for other tests that rank the schools growth and achievement gap, like the Multiple Measurement Rating (MMR), due to their small class sizes. To qualify, they would have to enroll more than 15 students per class, which is the cap number set by the their school charter.
•Grade 3: 60 percent passed; up 33 percent.
•Grade 4: 85.7 percent passed; down 14.3 percent.
•Grade 5: 25 percent passed; down 42 percent.
•Grade 6: 80 percent passed; down 6 percent.
•Grade 3: 80 percent passed; up 36 percent.
•Grade 4: 100 percent passed; up 14 percent.
•Grade 5: 62.5 percent passed; up 29.5 percent.
•Grade 6: 40 percent passed; down 3 percent.
•Grade 5: 25 percent passed; down 35 percent.
•Reading: 60 percent proficiency; no change. State average 57.8 percent.
•Math: 73.3 percent proficiency; down 6.7 percent. State average 62.6 percent.
•Science: 25 percent proficiency; down 35 percent. State average 59.7 percent.