Results of a writing test shows Minnesota 8th graders are marginally above the national average in writing. Students overall improved their scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress by 8 points since 1998 when the last test was given.
Students of color, especially black students, continue to lag behind white students on the writing test by more than 20 points or more.
Minnesota Education Commissioner Alice Seagren finds room for optimism in the results, but says the department's hope is for a better showing.
"Our expectations are that all of our students are scoring really strongly in the writing area and so we will again be focused on the strategies that we need to help improve," Seagren said.
Male students improved since the last test but remain outpaced by females, who performed better than any other demographic group.