Archived Story

A.L. schools do well on ratings

Published 9:38am Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Sibley and Lakeview elementary schools were recognized in the top 15 percent of schools in the state that receive Title I funds, according to the recently released Multiple Measurements Ratings.

Title I federal funds target schools with a set percentage of students from low-income families.

MMR is the state’s replacement for what parents may recognize as AYP, or Adequate Yearly Progress. The new designations are a result of Minnesota’s waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

No schools in the Albert Lea School District were in the bottom 25 percent of schools in the state. Those schools are recognized as priority, focus and continuous improvement. The data released this week is based on the 2012-13 school year. Multiple Measurements Ratings are meant to help the state hold schools accountable, recognize top achievers and support struggling schools. MMR includes data on proficiency, growth, achievement gap reduction and graduation rates.

Director of Teaching and Learning Mary Williams said the district saw increases at all the elementary schools. Williams said the increases were the result of focused work at the schools for more proficiency and achievement.

“It was reaffirming to see our efforts at the elementary school are paying off,” Williams said.

Other schools in Albert Lea improved, too.

Last year, Hawthorne and Halverson elementary schools were labeled continuous improvement, meaning they were in the bottom 25 percent of schools in the state. Halverson improved from a 9.6 percent MMR in 2012 to a 44 percent in 2013; Hawthorne went from a 9.5 percent in 2012 to almost 43 percent in 2013.

Sibley last year was at a 33 percent, and in 2013 improved to a 95 percent. Lakeview in 2012 had a 60 percent, and improved to almost a 93 percent in 2013.

“That’s a huge jump,” Williams said.

The Area Learning Center did make some strides, going from 30 percent MMR in 2012 to 42 percent in 2013. Albert Lea High School did not do as well as it did last year. In 2012, ALHS was at a 40 percent and decreased to 25 percent in 2013. Southwest Middle School increased to 28 percent MMR in 2013 from a 13 percent in 2012.

“We know there is still some work to be done,” Williams said.

Williams said that though Southwest increased its MMR, the district has changes in place at both Southwest and the high school that will hopefully help students continue to improve.

Compared to other Big Nine Conference schools, Albert Lea had two school buildings in the top 15 percent in the state. Rochester, Austin, and Faribault had no schools in the top 15 percent; Owatonna, Mankato and Winona each had one school in the top 15 percent.