Roosevelt School places well in state measurement

/ 23 May 2012 / jennifer

Charles Ramsay, Mesabi Daily News, May 23, 2012 –

ST. PAUL — The latest Minnesota educational achievement results are out, and Roosevelt Elementary School in Virginia is one of the best.

Among elementary schools in 11 districts across the Iron Range, Virginia’s grades 4-6 facility was the only one rated Tuesday as a “Reward School,” and Principal Willie Spelts was glad Wednesday for everyone involved.

“I was incredibly proud and happy for our students, staff and the entire school community,” he said.

Other elementary schools in the region receiving the designation were in Silver Bay, Esko and Wrenshall.

Spelts credited the students, teachers, parents and the community, which he termed the “perfect square,” for uniting to achieve the designation.

A Reward School is defined by the Minnesota Department of Education as being in the top 15 percent of all elementary schools in the state receiving Title I federal supplementary funds for at-risk and low-income children.

The Roosevelt School community “made a concerted effort to align our teaching practices to the Minnesota academic standards,” Spelts added.

The principal explained that he had been busy informing staffers and classes this week of the designation. “It’s an exciting time here at Roosevelt Elementary,” he said.

The Reward School, Focus School and Priority School designations are part of the overall efforts being made in the past year by Minnesota educators to move away from the often-criticized federal No Child Left Behind Act, which measured student proficiency in schools and also considered if a district was making “adequate yearly progress” and growth when other factors such as ethnic group, language, special education and free or reduced lunches were considered.

Minnesota received a waiver from the NCLB Act but was required to calculate the Multiple Measurement Rating, or MMR, of all schools based on the 2009-10 and 2010-11 school years and to designate Reward, or top 15 percent; Focus, the top 10 percent of Title I schools having the biggest contribution to the state’s educational achievement gap, with high schools with graduation rates less than 60 percent; and Priority, or the lowest 5 percent of lowest achieving schools in the state that are rated school improvement grant schools or else with the lowest MMRs in elementary, middle and high school groupings.

According to the Minnesota Department of Education:

  • Multiple Measurement Rating (MMR): This new standard combines proficiency in the former Minnesota Comprehensive Achievement-III tests in reading, science and math with student growth, graduation rates and achievement gap reduction. Points are given in the four categories, with the percentage of possible points becoming the school’s MMR.
  • Focus Rating (FR): This new standard combines proficiency with growth in seven subgroups previously under the Adequate Yearly Progress standard: Black, Hispanic, Asian, American Indian, Free/reduced price lunch, special education and English learners.

Under the AYP system, close to half the state’s schools were failing the progress ratings in recent years and the new measurement system in place will also incorporate student growth, achievement gaps and graduation rates, Education Department assistant communications director Keith Hovis said Wednesday in a phone conversation from St. Paul.

“Proficiency paints one picture,” he said, but the three other parts help “to create a baseline more fair and accurate.”

Range school district MMR and FR ratings, in district numerical order, are:

  • GREENWAY #316: Connor-Jasper Middle, 34.01 pecent MMR, 58.69 percent FR; Greenway Senior High, 37.45 percent MMR, 55.14 percent FR.
  • GRAND RAPIDS #318: Cohasset Elementary, 36.8 percent MMR, 57.2 percent FR; Bigfork Elementary, 45.27 percent MMR, 58.2 percent FR; Forest Lake Elementary, 71.45 percent MMR, 66.14 percent FR; Murphy Elementary, 28.91 percent MMR, 48.78 percent FR; Southwest Elementary, 69.01 percent MMR, 75.09 percent FR; Robert Elkington Junior High, 21.76 percent MMR, 47.82 percent FR; Bigfork Secondary, 53.02 percent MMR, 67.51 percent FR; Grand Rapids Senior High, 61.65 percent MMR, 49.44 percent FR.
  • NASHWAUK-KEEWATIN #319: Keewatin Elementary, 6.09 percent MMR, 35.29 percent FR, listed as a Priority School; Nashwauk-Keewatin Secondary, 62.76 percent MMR, 82.07 percent FR.
  • CHISHOLM #695: Vaughan Elementary, no listing; Chisholm Elementary, 21.28 percent MMR, 45.64 percent FR; Chisholm Secondary, 60.83 percent MMR, 70.38 percent FR.
  • ELY #696: Washington Elementary, 38.92 percent MMR, 53.52 percent FR; Memorial Secondary, 72.05 percent MMR, 79.63 percent FR.
  • HIBBING #701: Lincoln Elementary, 22.68 percent MMR, 43.02 percent FR; Hibbing High, 42.78 percent MMR, 31.64 percent FR.
  • VIRGINIA #706: Parkview Elementary, no listing; Roosevelt Elementary, 80.88 percent MMR, 85.08 percent FR; Virginia Secondary, 71.73 percent MMR, 78.71 percent FR.
  • NETT LAKE #707: Nett Lake Elementary, 45.99 percent MMR, 61.49 percent FR.
  • MOUNTAIN IRON-BUHL #712: Merritt Elementary, 39.44 percent MMR, 52.80 percent FR; Mountain Iron-Buhl Secondary, 27.02 percent MMR, 43.84 percent FR.
  • ST. LOUIS COUNTY #2142: (All seven schools in 2009-10 and 2010-11 are rated): Babbitt-Embarrass Elementary, 26.12 percent MMR, 45.78 percent FR, Secondary, 66.98 percent MMR, 77.88 percent FR; AlBrook Elementary, 71.27 percent MMR, 75.87 percent FR, Secondary, 31.99 percent MMR, 33.00 percent FR; Tower-Soudan Elementary, 32.73 percent MMR, 59.70 percent FR, Secondary, 24.76 percent MMR, 52.79 percent FR; Cherry Elementary, 70.77 percent MMR, 77.95 percent FR, Secondary, 20.84 percent MMR, 45.57 percent FR; Cotton Elementary, 79.06 percent MMR, 98.87 percent FR, Secondary, 47.66 percent MMR, no listing FR; Cook Elementary, 54.55 percent MMR, 59.61 percent FR, Secondary, 35.24 percent MMR, 61.91 percent FR; Orr Elementary, 51.11 percent MMR, 56.34 percent FR, Secondary, 42.27 percent MMR, 45.14 percent FR.
  • EVELETH-GILBERT #2154: Franklin Elementary, 54.05 percent MMR, 67.63 percent FR; Nelle Shean Elementary, 52.66 percent MMR, 60.74 percent FR; Junior High, 27.07 percent MMR, 52.36 percent FR; Senior High, 49.29 percent MMR, 64.04 percent FR.
  • MESABI EAST #2711: Elementary, 23.57 percent MMR, 56.48 percent FR; Secondary, 39.13 percent MMR, 44.06 percent FR.
  • AURORA CHARTER #4067: Elementary, 58.54 percent MMR, 49.43 percent FR; Middle School, 24.03 percent MMR, 23.21 percent FR.
  • EAST RANGE ACADEMY #4166: High School, 16.47 percent MMR, 28.75 percent FR.

Results for the 2011-2012 school year are expected out in August.