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Of 3,500 Rochester students, 52 percent pass state science test

A little more than half of the Rochester Public Schools students who took the state's science this year passed the exam, according to results released Friday by the Minnesota Department of Education.

The results do not impact adequate yearly progress for Rochester schools, according to a statement released by Rochester Public Schools.

The approximately 3,500 Rochester students who took the exam passed at a greater rate than the state overall, with 52 percent meeting or exceeding state standards, compared to the state's 48 percent.

The Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments-Series II science test is given each year to students in fifth and and eighth grades and to high school students after they've completed a life science course.

In the group of 3,500 students who took the test, 51 percent of the fifth-graders passed; 47 percent of the eighth-graders; and 59 percent of the high school students.


Students in different racial and socio-economic groups varied in their proficiency on the test. For example, in the group of 3,500, 26 percent of students in the free and reduced-price lunch program passed the science test. Just 10 percent of students with limited English proficiency passed.

The passing rates according to race were: whites, 60 percent; Asian Pacific Islander, 53 percent; blacks, 22 percent; and Hispanic, 21 percent.

The statewide scores showing less than half of students being proficient in science were at about the same as last year's level.

Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius says the results show that teaching science must be approached with a new sense of urgency. Cassellius says to keep research and technology jobs in Minnesota, the state needs a workforce that's competent in science, math and engineering.


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