School board concerned about test resultsPublished 10:16am Tuesday, August 7, 2012
The Albert Lea school board heard from school administrators Monday evening that while the most recent round of test scores didn’t show much improvement that the district will still move forward with its education plan. Administrators reported that they hoped to show better scores in the coming years.
Superintendent Mike Funk and Director of Teaching and Learning Mary Williams talked to the board about the small gains and losses across different grades in reading and math from recent Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment results.
Williams explained to the board that the district’s new goals and realignment just took place within the last six months, and she expects that it will be two to three years before test scores would reflect the new plan.
“It’s an ongoing process,” Williams said.
Funk showed the board results for the past five years and said he was disappointed to see all the ups and downs in scores. He said he’s hoping with the district’s new plan to see more consistency.
“We should be starting to see consistent uptick,” Funk said.
Williams said teachers appreciate that the district is trying to use a consistent academic plan.
“They know it’s our focus,” Williams said. “We are committed to seeing this through and teachers appreciate that.”
Overall the district had a decrease of about 1.5 percent in reading scores and an increase of about 3 percent in math scores. Williams said she was looking forward to continuing to study data from several tests including the new Multiple Measurement Ratings that will come out in the next month.
Funk then asked board members to re-evaluate the district’s goal for proficiency to see if it needs any updating. After some discussion the board agreed that while they do want to see the whole district proficient, they’d also like all students of all academic abilities be able to grow each year.
The next meeting was moved from Aug. 20 to Aug. 27. It will be held at the board room at Brookside Education Center.
In other action the board:
• Heard from Kim Nelson about her desire to have the district involved in the community need for more preschool opportunities. She said it will benefit the district by having better learners and higher graduation rates if more children in the community complete preschool programs. Nelson said there is a shortage of spots because all the preschools in the community are full.
“I don’t know that the district can solve that,” Nelson said.
She said she would at least like to see the district be involved in talking about the problem. Funk said he agreed that preschool education is important but that the district doesn’t have the assets to fix the problem itself. Board members Jill Marin and Jeshua Erickson both said it’s a topic they’d like to continue to discuss.