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Continued: Minnesota 4th-graders best in the country in math tests

  • Article by: KIM MCGUIRE , Star Tribune
  • Last update: November 7, 2013 - 10:02 PM

The NAEP tests are given to randomly selected fourth- and eighth-graders. About 3,000 Minnesota students were selected to take the 2013 test.

Eased concerns

The results should help ease parents’ concerns after Minnesota students experienced a sharp decline in the reading portion of the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments taken last school year.

State education officials chalked up the drop to the fact that the test was based on tough new Common Core standards.

Minnesota adopted those standards for reading but decided to forgo them for math. At the time, then-Education Commissioner Alice Seagren argued that the state’s math standards were tougher than Common Core and ultimately would lead to better academic results.

Cassellius has long argued that test scores will improve if the state doesn’t repeatedly change its academic standards as it has in the past.

It’s an idea wholeheartedly endorsed by teachers.

“That’s has been a huge challenge for me because I feel like our standards have been a moving target,” said Jennifer Wenzel, a first-grade teacher in the Centennial district.

Cassellius and Dayton said they expect to see to see NAEP scores improve in the future as a result of the state’s investment in early learning scholarships and all-day kindergarten.

Kim McGuire • 612-673-4469

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