Duluth Schools Show Improvements on Statewide Testing

By KBJR News 1

August 27, 2013 Updated Aug 27, 2013 at 6:55 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com)--- The 2013 Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment scores show a noticeable gain for the Duluth School District.

"We really saw some major improvements in our math scores and we are really excited about that," said Tawnyea Lake, Director of Assessment.

Ten schools in the district improved performance in math, with four schools actually scoring above the state average.

"It's indicative of the work that our schools are doing to focus in the area of math," said Assistant Superintendent Eddie Crawford.

The bad news is that test scores dropped in reading throughout the state and here in Duluth as students struggled with a more challenging, comprehensive test.

"The reading test was a new test this year working on far more rigorous standards than we had tested previously," said Lake.

District administrators point to that as being the reason that students scored 56% percent this year compared to 75 percent last year.

They say anytime a new test is given, a drop in scores is to be expected.

Another issue that stood out for administrators was a discrepancy in the achievement gap in Duluth.

"We're going to continue closing the achievement gap and really raising the achievement for all of our students," said Lake.

The administration says a 4-year continuous improvement plan that was identified through the Think Kids initiative will help focus efforts and resources on raising student achievement and closing the achievement gap.

"What we need to do is continue to work on the initiative we have in place and to assess and review as we go along and make the adjustment to make sure we're reaching all of our students," said Crawford.

ACT Results were also released Tuesday, which placed Minnesota students at the top of the nation for the eighth straight year.