What is the Minnesota School of Excellence program?

This program promotes excellence through a rigorous evaluation progress that showcases dynamic schools of the 21st century. Completion of this process leads to a validation that the school is a Minnesota School of Excellence and this validation remains effective for seven years. The first part of the program requires staff and parents to complete a self-study of the school. For the second part of the program, the administration uses the feedback to assess the strengths of the school and areas of needed improvement.  
Visit the MESPA website  for more information.
Here is the self-study, as a PDF File

How is my student assessed during the Kindergarten Assessment?

All Kindergarten students enrolled in the Minneapolis Public Schools are assessed in the fall, winter and spring. The assessments are individually administered by Early Childhood Cadre, a group of testers trained on its standardized administration using a standard set of materials. The Beginning and End of Kindergarten Assessments measure literacy and numeracy skills. More information on the Kindergarten assessment (pdf)

How is my student assessed during the Grade 1 Assessment?

All students enrolled in first grade are assessed in the fall, winter and spring with the district-developed Grade One Assessment. In reading, students receive scores on each of three reading dimensions: words read per minute, reading expression, and reading comprehension. In math, students are asked to identify numbers and quantities, count sets of objects, add and subtract numbers orally, and add single digit numbers. More information about the Grade 1 assessment (pdf)

What is AYP?

Adequate Yearly Progress, a measurement as to whether a student is (or averages of students within a school or district are) learning enough material from year to year.
Details: AYP is the component of the No Child Left Behind Act for determining whether or not all school students achieve the same high standards of academic achievement in reading or language arts and mathematics by 2013-2014. AYP requires statistically valid and reliable ways to determine the continuous and substantial academic improvement of all students from a starting point in 2001-2002 to the proficiency level by 2013-2014. Moreover, AYP includes efforts to narrow the achievement gaps of students who are economically disadvantaged, students from major race and ethnic groups, students with disabilities, and students with limited English proficiency.

What is the MAP Test?

Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA/MAP - Measures of Academic Progress)
State aligned computerized adaptive tests in reading and math that reflect the instructional level of each student. It measures growth over time in addition to performance. For additional information on this assessment go to: www.nwea.org

What is the MCA Test?

Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment - The MCAs are the state tests that help districts measure student progress toward Minnesota's academic standards and meet the requirements of No Child Left Behind. The reading and mathematics tests are used to determine whether schools and districts have made adequate yearly progress (AYP) toward all students being proficient. Science is required for No Child Left Behind but is not included in AYP calculations at this time. Reading and mathematics tests are given in grades 3-8, 10 and 11. More information:http://education.state.mn.us/MDE/Accountability_Programs/Assessment_and_Testing/Assessments/MCA/index.html

What is the difference between MAP tests and MCA tests? And why do we need both?

MAP Testing measures each student’s growth from year to year.
MCA’s measure each student in comparison with the Minnesota Standards.
Within the school the MCA results are used to determine if the school is successful in teaching the state’s standards (a No Child Left Behind mandate). The MAP results are used to determine if each child is getting enough growth (now a district mandate).

What are all of these other testing acronyms and names: MTAS, EXPLORE and ACCESS?

MTAS – Minnesota Test of Academic Skills
MTAS is a performance-based assessment in reading, mathematics and science for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities. It is the alternate assessment available in every grade in which the MCA-II is available and features substantial reductions in the complexity of the academic content standards.

ACCESS for ELLs® stands for Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State for English Language Learners. This large-scale test addresses the academic English language proficiency (ELP) standards at the core of the WIDA Consortium's approach to instructing and evaluating the progress of English language learners. (Replacing the TEAE and Solom tests)

The EXPLORE test is administered to Minneapolis 8th grade students in the fall of each school year; the costs associated with the administration of the EXPLORE are paid for by the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE). EXPLORE has four academic tests: English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science. A Composite Score (score range 1-25) summarizes performance across all four academic tests. In addition to the academic tests, students complete an interest inventory and needs assessment. For more information about the EXPLORE test, please visit the ACT Web site at http://act.org/explore/ .

What is an IEP?

An Individual Education Plan is a ‘goals and support’ plan for students with specific special education needs.
Details: Kids with delayed skills or other disabilities might be eligible for special services that provide individualized education programs in public schools. Parents can now work with educators to develop a plan — the individualized education program (IEP) — to help kids succeed in school. The IEP describes the goals the team sets for a child during the school year, as well as any special support needed to help achieve them.

What does ELL stand for?

ELL stands English Language Learners- those students who do not speak fluent English.

What does ELP stand for?

English Language Proficiency (ELP) standards

What is the MDE?

Minnesota Department of Education