Passing rates on math, reading tests up slightly


Resurrection Lutheran School in Rochester was omitted from a list on Page 3A Thursday that showed math and reading scores on the basic skills tests for southeastern Minnesota schools. The school earned 100 percent on both math and reading, meaning all of the school's eighth-grade students passed the tests. The school also had 100 percent pass in 2001.

----------------------------------------------------- By Brian Bakst

Associated Press

ROSEVILLE, Minn. -- Success rates on Minnesota's basic skills tests improved slightly this year, with 80 percent of eighth-graders passing the reading test and nearly three-quarters passing the math exam.


The Department of Children, Families and Learning reported the scores today.

A year ago, 79 percent of eighth-graders passed the reading exam on the first try and 72 percent scored high enough on the math exam. Passing grades on both tests, together with a 10th-grade writing exam, are requirements for graduation. Results of the writing exam generally come out in May.

Students who fail any of the tests have several more opportunities to retake them. After this February's test, 2 percent of high school seniors still need to pass the reading exam and 4 percent haven't scored high enough in math.

Education Commissioner Christine Jax said she was particularly encouraged by the improvement in math scores.

"I hope Minnesota's public schools keep using information from these tests to improve the basic skills instruction they give all their students," she said.

More than 64,500 public and charter school students took each test. Individual students will receive their personal results soon from their school district.

The tests are designed to ensure all high school graduates have minimum competency. The basic skills tests are the flip side of Minnesota's graduation standard known as the Profile of Learning, which emphasizes student projects.

To pass the reading test, students needed to identify the main idea of a passage, recognize supporting information, understand the meaning of words and phrases, grasp the author's point of view, draw logical conclusions, and distinguish between fact and opinion.


For the math tests, students needed to solve problems involving fractions, decimals and ratios, and interpret graphics, tables and charts.

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