Until now, the school report cards only noted how many students at a school were or were not proficient in reading and math. Now, the cards will note students degree of proficiency.
For example, a student might have scored well enough to still be considered 'proficient' in math, but in reality, that student has started to fall behind. The new guidelines will rank the student as 'proficient, but making low growth.' That's meant to serve as a warning sign, according to Education Commissioner Alice Seagren.
"That's good information and good knowledge to know because that's going to improve the instruction for our kids, and ultimately improve their academic achievement," said Seagren, in an interview.
The new report cards also work in the opposite way. They show how many kids are making high growth -- meaning they're learning at a rate above and beyond what's tested.
The change, which was given the name "Minnesota Growth Model" by the state Department of Education, identifies how students in each school and school district have progressed. That's accomplished by comparing their proficiency between the 2006-07 and 2007-08 school years.
Student can now fall into one of six categories: · Proficient but made low growth · Proficient and continued to grow · Proficient and made exceptional growth · Not proficient and made low growth toward proficiency · Not proficient but made some growth toward proficiency · Not proficient but made exceptional growth toward proficiency