Assessments

*** Due to COVID-19 and the impact of Distance Learning in the spring of 2020, we were unable to gather MCA data and NWEA growth data for the 2020 Scorecard.  Our ACT scores were delayed until Fall of 2020, but are updated in the attachment below along with our AP data from 2020.

Performance on assessments for the dashboard is presented in three domains, each with unique orange and green thresholds.

  • Proficiency is measured through the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA) in mathematics and reading administered each spring. This criterion-referenced assessment specifically aligns to Minnesota standards and determines grade-specific content and knowledge.
  • Growth is measured through the Northwest Evaluation Association's Measurement of Academic Progress (NWEA/MAP).  This assessment is taken up to three times each year for formative use by teachers.
  • College/Career Readiness is measured using the ACT/PLAN/EXPLORE test suite and Advanced Placement Exams. These assessments are nationally recognized tools for determining preparation and predictive success for high school and college experiences.  

Proficiency in Reading & Mathematics (MCA)

The MCAs are criterion referenced tests that measure student mastery of specific grade level skills as defined by the Minnesota State Standards.  The assessments are administered to all public school students in grades 3–8 & 10 in reading and all students in grades 3–8 & 11 in mathematics.  Individual student results are reported in one of 4 achievement levels: Does not Meet Standards, Partially Meets Standards, Meets Standards or Exceeds Standards.  To meet "proficiency" a student must score in one of the two higher levels; Meets or Exceeds Standards.  

Farmington Area Public Schools has set a goal for MCA proficiency that incorporates 2 targets. The first is to have a high percentage of students at or above proficiency.  The second is to increase the percent of students in the highest level. Please note that in 2016, a large number of students in Grades 10 & 11 opted out of the MCA tests. Therefore, our goals are set on Grades 3–8 only.

  • Red—the percent of students at or above proficiency falls below state averages in one or more subjects.
  • Orange—the percent of students at or above proficiency exceeds the state average in both subjects.
  • Green—the percent of students at or above proficiency exceeds the state average in both subjects AND the percent of students exceeding standards has increased to a specific target in each subject (20% for reading; 30% for mathematics).

Growth in Reading & Mathematics (NWEA/MAP)

The NWEA MAP tests are nationally normed adaptive assessments that are built on a continuous scale which is not limited to grade level content. Questions on the MAP tests adjust to an appropriate level of difficulty as students demonstrate their knowledge and understanding.  This provides a way to measure and monitor growth from one testing administration to another.

Farmington Area Public Schools evaluates growth from spring of one year to spring of the next year.  Within the NWEA MAP system, the company has established growth targets which represent the average amount of growth demonstrated by other students in the same grade across the country who had the same score on the first test. Each student's second spring test is evaluated to determine if the student scored high enough to meet that growth target. Students that score at or above their target have demonstrated average growth, or more.

A secondary consideration in monitoring student growth is making sure that students at all levels of achievement demonstrate growth. Farmington Area Public Schools has set goals that monitor growth for students whose initial achievement is below the 25th percentile (quartile 1), between the 25th and 50th percentiles (quartile 2), between the 50th & 75th percentiles (quartile 3) and above the 75th percentile (quartile 4).  All four quartile groups need to demonstrate growth toward their targets.

For this goal we are monitoring growth in the following 10 components:  overall growth in reading (1), overall growth in math (1), growth in each of the quartiles in reading (4) and growth in each of the quartiles in math (4).   Thus, the thresholds are as follows:

  • Red - 60% of students met or exceeded their individual growth targets in fewer than 5 of the measured components.
  • Orange - 60% of students met or exceeded their individual growth targets in 5 to 8 of the measured components.
  • Green -  60% of students met or exceeded their individual growth targets in greater than 8 of the measured components.

College Readiness (ACT)

The ACT is national college entrance exam that measures achievement in four subjects: English, reading, math and science.  ACT has established target scores (college readiness benchmarks) in each subject test that indicate a student has demonstrated the skills needed to have a 75% chance of earning a C or higher or a 50% chance of earning a B or higher in an entry level college course. Schools and districts receive summary reports indicating average scores by subject and the percent of students meeting college readiness benchmarks.

2015 was the first year all grade 11 students at FHS took the ACT. The 2015 results will be the baseline data used to set goals for 2016 and beyond.

  • Red—the percentage of students meeting/exceeding college readiness benchmarks in 1-2 components (math, science, reading, English and composite) is above state average.
  • Orange—the percentage of students meeting/exceeding college readiness benchmarks in 3-4 components (math, science, reading, English and composite) is above state average.
  • Green—the percentage of students meeting/exceeding college readiness benchmarks in all 5 components (math, science, reading, English and composite) is  above the state average.

College Readiness (AP)

Advanced Placement classes gives students the chance to tackle college-level work while they're still in high school and earn college credit and placement. A score of "3" is typically associated with "passing" the Advanced Placement Exam. Nearly all colleges and universities in the United States — as well as many institutions in more than 60 other countries — grant credit and placement for AP scores or acknowledge AP scores in the admission process.

  • Red—Less than 20% of FHS graduating class score 3 or better on at least one AP Exam during high school.
  • Orange—20-24.99% of FHS graduating class score 3 or better on at least one AP Exam during high school
  • Green—25% of FHS graduating class score 3 or better on at least one AP Exam during high school.

Career Readiness (ACT)

ACT recognized 20 years ago that in the fast-paced technologically driven global economy, employers were looking for individuals who have the necessary skills to perform the jobs of today and to adapt to the jobs of tomorrow. ACT established the WorkKeys system in response to a very real need for better information about employability skills and job readiness.  As a part of the WorkKeys system, ACT has profiled more than 19,500 individual jobs across the United States to determine the skills and skill levels needed. According to ACT research, three skills are highly relevant for success across most jobs: reading for information, applied mathematics, and locating information.

Credential Level & Skill Level and Its Relationship to Jobs

  • Red-the combined percentage of student qualifying for Gold or higher and Silver is below state average
  • Orange-the combined percentage of students qualifying for Gold or higher and Silver is above state average
  • Green-the percentage of students qualifying for Gold or higher is above state average and the percent of students qualifying for Silver is above state average 

Supporting Documentation:
College and Career Readiness