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The higher school achievement targets get, the harder it will get for schools to reach those targets, reports the 2004 Minnesota Education Yearbook.

Looking at Minnesota school achievement

From eNews, July 7, 2005

Under the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) system, a key part of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, schools in the United States have to meet specific targets in reading and mathematics proficiency and participation, and attendance or graduation rates. However, next year these achievement targets will begin to rise, making it even more difficult for schools to meet their targets, reports the 2004 Minnesota Education Yearbook.

The yearbook, published by the Office of Educational Accountability in the U's College of Education and Human Development, reviews data on enrollment, funding, teacher qualifications, student attendance, graduation rates, and achievement.

In other areas...

* Overall, school enrollments fell by less than 1 percent in Minnesota. And for the first time since 1994-95 and 1997-98, there was a decrease in the number of secondary students and elementary students, respectively. The number of students entering first grade, however, is increasing.

* Minnesota's per-pupil funding placed it 23 among the 50 states, and Minnesota now spends less per pupil on education than Wisconsin and Iowa.

Source: 2004 Minnesota Education Yearbook

In addition to the AYP system, the yearbook reviewed the Minnesota Department of Education's five-star system to rate school achievement. According to the yearbook, the best ratings were more commonly attained in schools with a large percentage of students from advantaged backgrounds. In other words, schools that scored the best had fewer low-income students, students with limited English proficiency, special education students, mobile students who entered the school mid-year, and students from the inner cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. This, in turn, leads to the perception that high ratings are more easily obtained in some schools for reasons that have to do with the background of the children entering the school rather than the quality of the school, reports the yearbook.

Compared to other states, the achievement of Minnesota students overall remains high. However, Minnesota's Asian students tend to score well below their Asian peers around the country, reports the yearbook, because Asian students in Minnesota have higher rates of limited English proficiency.

For a PDF version of the 2004 Minnesota Education Yearbook, see the OEA web site.

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