EP has strong state test achievement in pandemic year

EP has strong state test achievement in pandemic year

Eden Prairie Schools showed strong student achievement on statewide tests in 2021. On the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA) and Minnesota Test of Academic Skills (MTAS), 70 percent of EPS students met the standard in reading and 61 percent met the standard in mathematics. Eden Prairie Schools did not follow the statewide trend of significant declines in MCA/MTAS scores. Districtwide student performance was well above statewide results of 53 percent proficiency in reading and 44 percent proficiency in math. Eden Prairie Schools maintains its tradition of excellence within the west metro community, and will continue to advance the mission of inspiring each student.

This year, the Minnesota Department of Education advises not to compare 2021 to previous years because the pandemic severely disrupted many aspects of life. Rates of participation on these tests were down statewide. In many school districts, students changed learning models frequently throughout the year. Whereas the learning models for students in Eden Prairie were consistent and transitions were limited.

“We continue to be proud of students and staff for their tenacity and focus over the last year,” said Dr. Josh Swanson, Superintendent. “In spite of unprecedented obstacles, Eden Prairie students are learning at a high level. This year will bring additional focus to accelerating learning, and especially for students where we see that need.”

Eden Prairie Schools posted exceptionally high graduation rates. The district’s four-year graduation is 95 percent overall. Graduation rates among student groups demonstrate one way Eden Prairie Schools is closing an achievement gap. 

District and school staff will study the MCA & MTAS test results, along with other data, to improve classroom instruction and support for students. In a preliminary review of data, one highlight was the exceptional performance of EP Online students compared with students in distance learning in other districts. Statewide data is not available for all grades together, but looking at third grade results, proficiency of EP Online students was twice the statewide average. Combining all grades for EP Online, results were consistent with districtwide achievement: 76 percent of EP Online students were proficient in reading, and 68 percent were proficient in math. 

A key accountability program in Eden Prairie Schools is the annual review of School Board Ends Policies, which occurs in October. The board and district staff use multiple measures, not one single test, to measure academic performance. The district expects to see increases in student performance of 21st century skills known as the 4 C’s: creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and communication.

“We are preparing students for their future in multiple ways,” said Dr. Carlondrea Hines, Associate Superintendent for Academics and Innovation. “Our focus on rigorous, authentic learning runs from early childhood to graduation. As we continue aligning our work with Designing Pathways, students will have more choice, opportunity and inspiration.”