MREA supports student assessment that puts the education, growth, and development of learners first for their achievement, their college and career readiness, and for our best possible future. Required assessments need to be useful to parents, families, students and teachers.
The current system of accountability relies too heavily on “autopsy” tests that look backwards on where students have been and with too long a delay in getting results to be useful.
Minnesota needs to move to a system of assessments that look forward to where a student is going and is efficient in the use of students’ time and system resources. Providing results in “real time” (one business week) is critical and would allow instructional and career pathway decision-making to begin immediately.
System accountability should be measured with these same assessments with sufficient items measuring achievement of state standards embedded within the assessments.
For assessments that are more useful to students and more efficient, MREA supports legislative action to:
- Reduce the amount of testing required to allow more time for instruction and learning.
- Reform current MCA’s in grades 3-7 to provide real time results on achievement and skills to focus instruction to assist students in learning MN Standards’ skills and content.
- Replace current MCA’s and GRAD in grades 8-12 with assessments that assist students in choosing their college and career pathways and focus their course work and academic preparation for post-secondary education and the workforce. These assessments should contain sufficient state standard measurements to be used for system accountability.
- Use these same assessments for system accountability within the MMR (Multiple Measures Rating).
- Eliminate cut scores on any one test as eligibility for a diploma from a Minnesota High School. The research in this area, while inconclusive, has shown no benefit to exit exams to most students, and significant negative impact on a smaller subset of students. If Minnesota has to have cut scores, do it at level of achievement where we are very confident that students, not at that level, are not ready for college.