MPS digs into state testing data

2022 results show some areas of progress, district staff says

MARSHALL — Last year, students at Marshall Public Schools made strides in some academic areas and struggled in others, according to state test data. MPS Director of Teaching and Learning Beth Ritter said there were some areas to celebrate.

“We’re doing very well in science,” Ritter told school board members Monday. Marshall students did better than the statewide achievement level in science on the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment. A total of 60.1% of fifth- graders, 31.1% of eighth-graders, and 49% of high school students met or exceeded state standards.

The majority of MPS students also did better than the statewide level in math, Ritter said.

“It really does demonstrate and show all the hard work that our teachers are doing day in and day out,” she said.

At Monday’s school board meeting, Ritter gave an overview of school district data from the 2021-22 academic year. The board would also get into the results in more depth in a work session later that day.

Ritter said the data she presented was also available to the public on the Minnesota Department of Education’s Minnesota Report Card.

“This is good snapshot data of what’s happened the previous year,” said Superintendent Jeremy Williams.

“This is more big-picture info, I would say,” Ritter said.

Ritter said the disruptions of the COVID pandemic had an affect on students. There were areas that MPS needed to work on, she said. For example, students who took the MCAs in grades 3-7 fell behind the statewide achievement level in reading.

At the same time, students were making progress in some academic areas. At Southview Elementary, 28.7% of students improved their achievement level in reading, compared to a statewide level of 20.2%, Ritter said. At Marshall Middle School, 29.5% of students improved their achievement level in math, compared to a statewide level of 18.2%.

English language learners at MPS also made progress last school year, she said. A total of 45 multilingual students improved in English enough to exit the English learner program last year.

“Our kids are improving, and that’s what we want to see,” Ritter said of the 2021-22 data. “That’s really what we’re looking at, because we know our kids – all kids in general – fell behind during COVID. Our teachers did a phenomenal job of working with the resources we had and teaching at home, but we know it’s best to be in person, and we couldn’t be.”


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