Five area districts including Willmar writing improvement plans for the state
Five area school districts face state sanctions because of their results on the state's latest standardized tests. Montevideo, Willmar, Benson, Renville County West and Redwood Area schools will join 89 other Minnesota districts in writing improv...
Five area school districts face state sanctions because of their results on the state's latest standardized tests.
Montevideo, Willmar, Benson, Renville County West and Redwood Area schools will join 89 other Minnesota districts in writing improvement plans this year.
In most cases, the districts in west central Minnesota were marked as not making adequate yearly progress because a subcategory of students did not meet goals in the math or reading tests taken last spring.
For example, in Willmar, students with limited English proficiency missed the goal in math. Students in other subcategories, like low-income, special education, Hispanic or white, met goals in math.
Students in all categories, including limited English proficiency, met overall goals in reading.
The number of districts facing sanctions statewide is much higher than the 15 districts in that category one year ago, according to information on the Minnesota Department of Education Web site.
Individual schools have not fared any better this year in the annual testing required by the federal No Child Left Behind law.
A year ago, 11 school buildings in eight area districts failed to meet adequate yearly progress. This year, it's 23 school buildings in 11 different districts. Two of those schools, Lincoln Elementary in Willmar and Renville County West Elementary in Sacred Heart, must now offer school choice to families whose children attend those schools.
Statewide, the number of schools required to offer school choice has increased dramatically from a year ago, from 11 in 2006 to 59 this year.
At a staff workshop Thursday, Willmar Superintendent Kathy Leedom told the staff about the district's results but urged them to keep the news in perspective.
The state tests are only one of many tools the district uses to measure student performance.
The state tests do not measure growth. They compare one class of third graders to the next class of third graders, for example.
The district uses other testing to measure student progress from fall to spring, she said, and that helps to address the needs of individual students.
Leedom pointed out that the district did meet state goals in the majority of categories in grades 3-11, and she said she was proud of all the good work done in the district.