Measuring What Matters
Each year, the School Board measures key metrics to monitor academic progress and operations at Eden Prairie Schools. To improve communication, the School Board has developed “Measuring What Matters” to provide visibility and transparency into the progress at Eden Prairie Schools.
The School Board hopes that “Measuring What Matters” will give the community concise, timely, and relevant information on the performance of our schools.
Third Grade Reading Metrics: 2021-22 School Year
The Eden Prairie School Board formally reviews third grade reading metrics each year when Ends Policy 1.2 is monitored. This policy states: “Each student is reading at grade level by the end of third grade.” During the monitoring process the Superintendent must provide evidence that the district is making reasonable progress toward this goal.
Studies show that in third grade students transition from learning to read to reading to learn. If students are not reading at grade level in third grade it can negatively impact their academic achievement in future years, so the Board prioritizes this goal in its policies.
Sound research and measurement practices involve the triangulation of data for each student to identify success. Eden Prairie Schools utilize three reading assessments to measure proficiency and provide comprehensive evidence that third grade students are reading at grade level.
The data for the 2021-2022 school year was presented to the Board on October 24, 2022.
Target Set for 2021-2022: 80% Level of Achievement: 78%
School Board’s Perspective on the Data
On October 24, 2022, the School Board monitored Ends Policy 1.2. The Superintendent asserted that reasonable progress had not been made, falling just short of the 80% target.
The School Board debated this assertion extensively, evaluating: (1) Management did not reach the target, (2) Management initially proposed a 78% metric, but the board requested (and management agreed) to raise performance expectations to 80%, (3) Although Eden Prairie Schools maximized in person school days during the 2021-2022 school year, there were significant COVID distractions and student/staff absences that impacted student learning, (4) The 80% target was set during the summer of 2021, before additional COVID restrictions/impacts were contemplated, (5) FastBridge test results (which are last in the evaluation cycle) were trending towards the 80% metric, (6) Supplemental initiatives to improve reading performance, including the “Power Reading” program, gained traction post MCA/MTAS testing, (7) Eden Prairie Schools reading outcomes vs surrounding school districts demonstrated superior execution and performance.
Considering the aforementioned factors in 2021-2022, and the improving data trends seen in the recent test metrics, the School Board decided not to accept the Superintendent’s assertion and concluded that reasonable progress had been made by the school district. Although the School Board considered extraordinary circumstances for the 2021-2022 measurement period, the School Board reasserted the reading proficiency target for 2022-2023 at 80%, reflecting the expectation that the district consistently raises performance expectations for each child in our district.