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Lifelong Learning


Measuring Achievement

Moorhead Area Public Schools uses a variety of methods to measure student progress and determine whether our students are meeting their learning goals. Methods include:

  • Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments
  • GRAD
  • AIMSweb
  • Various Literacy Assessments
  • In-class Unit and Skills Assessments
  • Common Assessments
  • College Admissions Tests

Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA)

The MCA tests measure academic knowledge as described in the state standards for the areas of language arts and mathematics. Students in grades 3–8 and 10 take the MCA tests in reading, while students in grades 3-8 and 11 take the MCA tests in mathematics. Students in grades 5 and 8 and high school biology students take the MCA in science.

Results of these tests help the district make decisions about curriculum and assist in determining district, school and student progress on standards.

On the MCA, student performance is broken down into four achievement levels with level four indicating exceeding the standards. Students who score in level three are considered meeting state standards. Students scoring in level two partially meet the standards, and students scoring in level one do not meet the standards. Students in levels three and four are considered to be proficient.

The administrative and teaching staff continue to develop programs to address achievement levels of all students. Teachers at all levels continue to develop and use district-wide common assessments to measure achievement in each grade level.

Read the Annual Report on Curriculum, Instruction and Student Performance for MCA results.

Graduation Required Assessments

Students in grades 10, 11 and 12 have several options for meeting Minnesota's graduation assessment requirements. Students who have already passed the GRAD (Graduation-Required Assessments for Diploma) have met the requirement. Students may use GRAD retests or take the ACT, WorkKeys or Compass assessments to meet the requirements during the three-year transition.

Students first enrolled in grade 8 in 2012-13 and later are required to take a career and college assessment in both grade 8 (e.g., EXPLORE) and grade 10 (e.g., PLAN) and then take a college entrance assessment in grade 11 (e.g., ACT).

Special testing accommodations may be made for students with special learning plans (e.g., IEP, 504, LEP). Some students may also be permanently or temporarily exempted. Please contact your counselor for more information.

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