Monday, August 29, 2005

Minnesota test scores up

Thanks to Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s tireless efforts to improve the quality of education in Minnesota, tests scores are on the rise.

Test scores are up; fewer schools fail
James Walsh

Minnesota's test scores are up, and the number of schools tagged as underperforming is down.

Across the state, school officials breathed a sigh of relief Monday morning as the state released the results of Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments from last spring, as well as the list of schools not meeting their performance goals under the federal No Child Left Behind law.

Overall, 247 schools were tagged as not making adequate yearly progress in 2005, down from 464 in 2004. In addition, all grades showed improvement in math and reading scores. More children scored proficient than last year and more children scored at the top level than last year, officials said.

Officials acknowledged, however, that federal rule changes -- rather than test scores -- allowed some schools to escape the underperforming list. For example, 119 fewer schools were listed as underperforming based on the scores of students learning English. Last year, schools that had 20 or more students tested had to count those scores for No Child Left Behind. This year, only groups that had 40 or more English language students tested were counted.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty says it's good news that there's significant improvement" in standardized test results for Minnesota students.
(Source: Star Tribune, August 29, 2005)

With test scores up, the DFL will have less ammunition against Pawlenty next fall. Meanwhile, Mike Hatch is still trying to recover from weeks of bad publicity due his loss in the Medica trial.

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