The state of Minnesota released math, reading and science test scores this week for schools state wide including the schools of the St. James School District.
The big news is that reading scores have declined dramatically across the state. Educators across the state say this is primarily due to the reading test changing and becoming more difficult.
These test scores are important for all educators in the St. James District, but especially for the educators and administrators at Northside Elementary.
Northside is starting it's second year of a mandated turn around program because its academic results had already made it one of the lowest scoring schools in the state.
In the most recent results, the reading proficiency of the Northside 195 students taking the test was 47.7 percent. This compares to a reading proficiency of 67 percent last year.
Math scores at Northside trended lower falling from 54.3 percent last year. to 48.7 percent this year. Science rose from 40.7 percent to 49.7 percent this year.
The scores for the St. James secondary showed a decline in reading and math and increase in science.
The reading test that was changed went from 56.7 percent last year to 42.8 percent this year. Math declined from 39.2 percent to 35.4 percent. Science scores increased from 28.5 percent to 31.2 percent.
One of the important issues for the District is how these scores impact Northside as it enters its second year.
It may seem that with the harder reading test that the baseline for Northside was established on a test that no longer is being used, but Northside Principal Karla Beck said the Northside results will be compared to the statewide average results.
Looking at the results for Northside compared to the statewide average Beck said, "The fact that we slightly closed our overall achievement gap compared to the state average - that's good news."
Beck compared Northside to the statewide average, "State was down 18.2 percent we are only down 16.5 percent."
Northside did especially well on the reading test at the fifth grade level. "We went down 5.6 percent, the state wide average went down nearly 16 percent. This is huge."
Beck said Northside had to be at the top end of the state for results in reading at the fifth grade level.
The detailed results can be found at the Minnesota Department of Education website. http://education.state.mn.us/MDE/index.html