School-test scores show good news in Milaca, Princeton

The Minnesota Department of Education released school-test scores in early August, with most of them showing progress that gives teachers, administrators and students a little extra boost for the 2017-2018 school year.
While the raw data is presented and can be interpreted a number of ways, the scores bring a sense of pride in both Milaca and Princeton for different reasons. The scores released last month are based on the results of the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA) test, which is designed to measure students’ proficiency in math, reading and science.
Students test for reading in third, eighth and 10th grades. They take the math test in grades three through eight and then again in the 11th grade. Students test for science in the fifth and eight grades and then once during high school.
Statewide, overall proficiency slipped slightly from 59.5 percent of 441,633 students tested in 2016, to 58.7 percent of 447,306 students tested in 2017.
The MDE’s website, click on Minnesota Report Card, offers extensive data and options to filter by school. Summarized in this story are the proficiency percentages from 2016 and 2017 testing.
•Math — 59.5 percent to 58.7
•Reading — 59.9 percent to 60.2 percent
•Science — 55 percent to 54.2 percent
The statewide graduation rate increased from 81.9 percent in 2015 to 82.2 percent in 2016.
Milaca School District
The MDE data show that Milaca had 1,796 students as of Oct. 1, 2016 and a licensed staff count of 146 people. Test-score results showed substantial improvement. Administrators in a recent School Board meeting acknowledged there is still work to do but said it was nice to see the increase.
•Math — 54 percent to 58.6 percent
•Reading — 52.4 percent to 55.7 percent
•Science — 45.6 percent to 50.1 percent
Milaca’s graduation rate from 2015, with 156 graduates, was 89.7 percent, and from 2016, with 122 graduates, was 89.1 percent.
Princeton School District
The MDE data show that Princeton had 3,142 students on Oct. 1, 2016 and a licensed staff count of 221 people. Test-score results showed no significant dips or gains and continue to beat state averages by several percentage points.
•Math — 61.4 percent to 61.3 percent
•Reading — 64.6 percent to 64.2 percent
•Science — 63 percent to 62.3
Princeton’s graduation rate from 2015, with 224 students, was 91.1 percent, and in 2016, with 228 students, was 90.8 percent.