ACT and General Mills Provide Insight

By August 27, 2012 No Comments

The Assessment and Accountability Work Group last week gained input from one of the state’s leading employer on what the company seeks in BS and Masters level graduates. The information provides perspective as the group considers requirements for a HS diploma and the current GRAD test.

Sara Beaty, who is responsible for annually recruiting to General Mills 450 permanent new employees and interns, shared how General Mills uses some screening instruments, but relies more on behavioral interviews, simulated scenarios and multiple rater agreement to decide on whom to offer positions.  She emphasized that the company desires candidate who are strong in innovation, collaborative leadership skills and integrity.

The working group also heard from ACT Inc. Currently, 72% of Minnesota’s graduates take the ACT and the composite average of 22.9 is No. 1 among states for whom more than 50 percent of graduates take the ACT. Thirteen states now use the ACT for all students, none have a cut score for graduation, and several tweak the ACT partnering with ACT Inc. to measure student performance on certain indicators. ACT Inc. is moving towards a major revision of its testing. Minnesota covers the cost of school districts that administer the PLAN, which about 54,000 Minnesota students took last year, and EXPLORE which about 40,000 students took last year.

The working group is splitting into three sub committees to develop recommendations on the following topics: GRAD, High School Transition, and Elementary/Middle Level Assessment.  As guidance to the sub-committees, Rose Hermondson reported that Commissioner Cassillius wants the committees to focus on what works for kids and helping them achieve, not what works for the system.


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