TAPS students perform well compared to rest of state

By Per Peterson

With the State of Minnesota dealing with dropping proficiency rates among students across the board because of last year’s forced shift to distance learning, students at Tracy Area Public Schools held their own.

While state proficiency rates fell 11 percentage points in math and seven percentage points in reading from 2019, TAPS students scored above the state average in nearly all categories in the most recent round of MCA III testing. Spring test scores in 2020 were cancelled as the pandemic began to force schools to close to in-person learning.

In a summary of 2021 test scores at Monday’s District No. 2904 School Board meeting, Tracy Area High School Principal Kathy Vondracek and Tracy Area Elementary School Principal Michael Munson compared TAPS scores in reading, math, science, and free and reduced with state averages.

At TAES, math scores for grades 3-6 were at 56.1%, while the state average was at 44.2%. Reading at TAES was at 57.3%, with the state at 52.5%. For fifth-grade science, TAES hit the 65% mark (up from 55.9% in 2019), compared to 47.9% for the state average. In all, three of the four grades at TAES were double digits over the state average in math.

“All of our grades were above the state average except for sixth-grade math,” Munson said. “Our fifth-grade math score was very high — 16% above the state average, where our sixth-grade math score was a little bit below the state average. All the rest of our scores were comfortably above the state average, some of them more than others.”

See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.