Ness satisfied with test scores overallPublished 11:13am Wednesday, August 28, 2013
A surface look at the 2013 Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment results shows the Fergus Falls Public School District lagging behind the state averages in math, reading and science.
But on closer inspection, many schools and specific grades had excellent scores on the tests, while other parts of the district suffered.
“When you put (all the schools) together, it lowers the score some, no question about it,” School Superintendent Jerry Ness said. “So we like to segregate the data so we know exactly which areas need the most work.”
The IQ Academy, an online middle and high school based in Fergus Falls, had 17.9 percent of students proficient or better in math, 25.6 percent proficient or above in science and 39.2 percent proficient or above in reading. All these numbers fell well short of the numbers for the rest of the school district, although the IQ Academy does have a significantly smaller student population that took the tests.
The Fergus Falls Area Learning Center also posted lower scores, albeit with a much smaller sample size than even the IQ Academy. Zero out of 18 students who took the math test scored proficient or above, while 21.4 percent of the 14 who took the reading test and 16.7 percent of students who took the science test scored proficient or above.
Ness said it has been traditional for the IQ Academy and Area Learning Center to post lower test scores.
Cleveland Elementary School finished above the state averages in all three categories, including the new reading test which officials said was designed to be more rigorous than the previous one.
Despite the positive signs in many parts of the district, Curriculum Director Carri Thompson said those overall numbers show room for improvement.
“Our goal is to meet or exceed state averages on all these kinds of tests,” Thompson said. “We are just a hair underneath each of those.”