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WAPS test averages lag state again (08/28/2013)
By Jen Burris
Hispanic students closed achievement gap by double-digits in one year

The 2013 Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA) test scores were released Tuesday. Although some grades and buildings in the Winona Area Public Schools (WAPS) district faired considerably better than state average proficiency scores, several lagged behind the state figures.

Grades three and four exceeded the state average in both math and reading proficiency, while students in grades six and seven fell behind their peers across the state. The number of students in grade seven who tested proficient in reading was nearly 10 percent below the state average, with 44.4 percent of WAPS seventh graders able to meet state reading standards.

Hispanic students' math and reading scores suggest WAPS is closing the achievement gap within that ethnic group at a rapid pace. Hispanic students made a whopping 21 percent increase in the number proficient on the math portion of the test this year when compared to last year, showing more than 10 percent higher in the number proficient when compared to the 2013 state average. WAPS might be closing one gap, but black and Asian students' scores have gone down as much as 20 percent from last year’s scores. The scores for these students drastically lag behind averages for their peers across the state as well. (See numbers on the achievement gap, and other area school scores, on page 5a.)

Many WAPS students in grades three and four shined in the math section, with Goodview Elementary’s fourth grade leading the pack with 90.3 percent of students meeting or exceeding state standards. Exactly 87 percent of third grade students at W-K Elementary met or exceeded standards. Nearly 85 percent of Rollingstone Elementary’s third grade students met or exceeded the standards set. District-wide, fifth, sixth, seventh, and eleventh grades struggled with the math portion of the test.

The reading test was updated this year, to make it more challenging than years past, according to the Minnesota Department of Education. Department of Education officials have warned parents and educators not to compare the new test scores with previous years. Grades six, seven, eight, and ten did not meet the state averages this year.

How did your child's specific elementary school and grade fair on the tests? Visit www.winonapost.com for more detailed test results.  


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