New Figures Offer Hope Of Closing Achievement Gap

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — A new system for measuring Minnesota schools is offering hope of closing the achievement gap.

After getting a waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind law, Minnesota established its own system for rating schools.

State Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius says the 2012 Multiple Measurement Ratings indicate the state is gaining traction in efforts to close the achievement gap between white students and minorities.

“We’re beginning to see that bending of the curve with the achievement gap, which is good. (But) there’s still so much work to do” said Cassellius. “I think the best news is that our math achievement at the earlier grades is really starting to show some acceleration.”

Cassellius says the new system is a better way to measure achievement so educators can work to improve troubled schools.

More than 200 Minnesota schools are now listed as underperforming in some manner, compared with more than 1,000 similarly listed under the old No Child Left Behind rankings.

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