Beating the Odds
A Star Tribune analysis of standardized test scores to determine which schools are doing better than expected.
There is a long-standing and well-documented connection between a school's poverty rate and achievement on standardized tests. As these charts show, schools with lower poverty rates tend to have higher scores. As a result, schools serving large numbers of poor students have a different perspective on what achievement looks like.
To level this playing field, the Star Tribune uses a statistical analysis called linear regression to compare each school's proficiency rates in math and reading to what it was expected to achieve based on its poverty level.
In the charts, the lines represent the predicted proficiency rate. The schools — represented by dots — that are within 10 percentage points of that line are considered to be doing about as expected, while those farther below the line are falling short of expectations. Along the top, though, is where you'll find the schools that are beating the odds.
In the 2018-19 school year, math scores on the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs) dropped statewide -- and so did the number of high-poverty schools beating the odds. Just 13 percent of those schools performed better than expected, down from 19 percent a year earlier. That follows a longer trend; a few years ago, a third or more of high-poverty schools were beating the odds in math. In reading, the number of schools performing better than expected has remained fairly flat in recent years.
Use the search tool below to find out whether your school is beating the odds. Either select from the list or start typing a school name.