- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 26, 2014

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota students did slightly better in reading and science on the standardized proficiency tests this year, but there remains a sizable gap in the performance of minority and white students.

The tests measure students’ ability to meet reading, math and science benchmarks.

The state Department of Education released the test results Monday. They show that about 61 percent of students statewide were proficient in math, which is about the same as last year. Reading rose from 58 percent to 59 percent in 2014 compared to last year.

Science scores were also up slightly, from 52 percent to 53 percent proficiency, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported (https://bit.ly/1mMgKUE ). The biggest increase came in fifth-grade reading, where proficiency climbed 4 percentage points to 68 percent.

The results show that little progress had been made in closing the state’s sizeable achievement gap between minority and white students. Most minority students continued to trail white students by 31-37 percentage points in math, about 30 percentage points in reading, and by 33-38 percentage points in science.

Christine Osorio, St. Paul Public Schools chief academic officer, said the district is trying a number of measures to help minority children do better in school, including providing culturally relevant texts and using classroom libraries to encourage reading.

A redrawing of attendance zones to reduce transportation costs may have had an effect on why students didn’t make more progress. About 14,000 students changed schools, compared with the usual 3,000, Osorio said.

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Information from: St. Paul Pioneer Press, https://www.twincities.com


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