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STMA Students Continue Strong Tradition of Excellence in State’s North Star Accountability System

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) released data that places St. Michael-Albertville Schools as top performers in multiple areas of school performance. The release is part of the state’s North Star Accountability System that aims to create more equitable and well-rounded learning opportunities for all students across the state. The North Star uses data from five key indicators: academic achievement, academic progress, progress among English language learners, graduation rates, and consistent attendance. “The state of our students is promising, and it’s up to us to meet their promise with our support,” said Education Commissioner Mary Cathryn Ricker. “Too often, we condense our students down to one single data point, which eliminates everything about our students that make them who they are. By looking at a broader collection of data side-by-side, we can easily see the many things we have to celebrate about our students and the best strategies to support them to reach their full potential.” The North Star Accountability System was developed over recent years to satisfy and align requirements of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and the state’s World’s Best Workforce law (WBWF).

The Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA) and Minnesota Test of Academic Skills (MTAS) are used to measure academic achievement, which is the number of students demonstrating meeting grade level standards. 2019 results show a statewide decline from 56.2% of students meeting or exceeding state math standards in 2018 to 53.8% in 2019. Statewide reading scores also decreased in 2019 with 58.3% of students meeting or exceeding state standards compared to 59.2% in 2018. St. Michael-Albertville students again outperformed their state peers in all tested grades as they scored 20.2 percentage points above their peers in math and 16.9 percentage points above their statewide peers in reading. This is despite the fact that STMA ranks 329 out of 330 school districts in school funding. “Despite receiving significantly less than most school districts in the state, we continue to make substantial progress in student learning,” said Superintendent Ann-Marie Foucault. “STMA schools are the pride and center of the community and I am very proud that St. Michael-Albertville taxpayers have a strong return on investment.”

Academic progress is based on the improvement of each student from year to year in reading and mathematics. In this measure, St. Michael-Albertville students demonstrated significant progress. From 2018 to 2019, 75.8% of STMA students maintained or improved their math achievement level, which is 13.0 percentage points higher than students across the state. In a similar fashion, 74.0% of STMA students maintained or improved proficiency levels in reading, which is 7.1 percentage points higher than students across the state.

The North Star system uses four-year and seven-year graduation rates. STMA had a strong four-year graduation rate (class of 2018) of 95% compared to a statewide rate of 83.2%. The seven-year graduation rate (class of 2015) for STMA was even better at 97.6% compared to a statewide rate of 87.5%. Another key indicator of the North Star accountability system is consistent attendance. This is a measure of the percentage of students attending more than 90 percent of the days they are enrolled at a school. STMA had a rate of 89.4% of students who met the threshold, which is higher than the statewide rate of 85.4%. Foucault added, “Data from the key indicators of the North Star accountability system indicate St. Michael-Albertville’s deep commitment to putting students first and educating the whole student remains strong. In partnership with our hardworking students, extraordinary staff, supportive parents, and generous community, we remain committed to innovation and continuous improvement as we work to make our vision a reality.”

Source: MDE Minnesota Report Card August 4, 2019