2021 MCAs show need for more student support this fall 

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ST. PAUL, Minnesota. Aug. 27, 2021 – Education Minnesota responded Friday to the release of the latest Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments, which were offered to students during the spring of 2021 when many districts were returning to in-person learning after disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Educators have known for months that Minnesota students will need extra emotional and academic support this fall after living through the traumas of the worst health crisis in a century,” said Denise Specht, president of Education Minnesota. “We hope the media reporting of these test scores will encourage parents and everyone in our school communities to find some extra patience and empathy for the educators and students working through a very difficult fall.”

Specht noted that comparisons between grade-level data gathered this year and previous years are even more difficult than in normal years. Different groups of students are tested every year, but this year about 100,000 students declined to take the tests either through the formal opt-out process or due to extenuating circumstances related to the pandemic.

“MCA data has some value as a statewide snapshot, but it is much less useful at the local and individual levels, especially this year when about 100,000 eligible students didn’t even take the tests,” Specht said. “Parents with questions about how their child, or school, is doing should contact their local educators directly. It’s the only way to get a thorough and accurate assessment. Even educators don’t see the MCA questions so it’s almost impossible for parents to make informed decisions about their children’s education based on MCA scores.” 

About Education Minnesota
Education Minnesota is the voice for professional educators and students. Education Minnesota’s members include teachers and education support professionals in Minnesota’s public school districts, faculty members at Minnesota’s community and technical colleges and University of Minnesota campuses in Duluth and Crookston, retired educators and student teachers. Education Minnesota is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association and AFL-CIO.

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