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MMR results provide info on student growth

The Multiple Measurement Ratings (MMR) for Minnesota schools were released Thursday, with early analysis showing the state gaining traction in efforts to close achievement gaps, according to the Minnesota Department of Education.

The MMR ratings are based on the MCA assessment scores released in August, the data determining student growth.

Area schools - Park Rapids, Nevis and Menahga - all scored at or above the state MCA test score averages.

The new system is reportedly providing a clearer picture of how schools are faring.

Growth is most prominent in statewide math performance, where nearly all subgroups saw the start of gap closures, the MDE reports. Minnesota special education students also made progress in closing gaps in reading.

"Today's data shows that we're starting to bend the curve in the right direction," said Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius.

"Minnesota's achievement gaps are still unacceptably large, but I believe the new accountability measures we've put in place, along with our new focus on closing gaps and improving outcomes for every student, will continue to accelerate the gains we see today."

Nevis is one of 128 schools named as Reward Schools, recognized for being in the top 15 percent of all Title I schools.

The data also named 211 schools as Celebration Eligible schools, a new category for the next 10 percent of high achieving Title I schools after Reward schools. No new schools received a Priority or Focus designation. 

Additionally, 86 schools were designated as Continuous Improvement schools. This new designation is reserved for schools in the lowest 25 percent of all Title I schools, but that are not considered Priority or Focus.

Continuous Improvement schools are required to write and implement a turnaround plan similar to Priority and Focus Schools. All Priority, Focus, and Continuous Improvement schools are required to set aside 20 percent of their Title Funding to support their improvement efforts.

"The benefits of the new Multiple Measurement Rating system is the more precise information it gives us and local schools about how all students are doing and where improvement efforts should be focused," said Commissioner Cassellius.

"Not only does today's release provide parents and the community a better look into how their schools are doing, with these ratings, schools now have three years of growth data to look at, analyze and utilize as they strive to put in place strategies to ensure every single child learns, thrives and succeeds. This renewed focus has created an urgency and focus for our work moving forward."