District Wide Testing
The Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs) are state-mandated tests that help districts measure student progress toward Minnesota's academic standards and meet the requirements of No Child Left Behind. The reading and mathematics tests are used to determine whether schools and districts have made adequate yearly progress (AYP) toward all students being proficient in 2014. Science is required by No Child Left Behind legislation but is not included in AYP calculations at this time.
Reading and mathematics tests are given in grades 3-8, 10 (reading only) and 11 (math only). Science tests are given in grades 5 and 8 and once in high school (usually grade 10), depending on when students complete their life sciences curriculum.
The Graduation-Required Assessments for Diploma (GRAD) are state tests that fulfill Minnesota’s high school graduation requirement for students who first entered grade 8 in 2005-06 or later. These tests measure student performance on essential skills in Writing, Reading and Mathematics for success in the 21st century. Students first have an opportunity to meet GRAD requirements in reading and math when they participate in MCA tests (grades 10-11). Demonstration of proficiency on the MCA math and reading tests fulfills GRAD requirements in those subject areas. If a student does not satisfy the GRAD requirement for an assessment during the first administration, there will be remediation and retest opportunities available.
Access for ELLs
ACCESS for ELLs is a standards-based assessment that measures social and academic English language proficiency in each of the core subject areas. All ELL students take part in assessment tasks in the areas of speaking, reading, writing, and listening.