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Westonka Schools Receive State’s Top Designation

Pair of schools honored as ‘Reward Schools’ under new state measurement,

Earlier this week both Grandview Middle School and Shirley Hills Primary School earned the highest designation under the new Minnesota school accountability tool: Multiple Measurement Rating (MMR).

Their top ranking as “Reward” schools means Shirley Hills and Grandview are listed in the top 127 Title I schools out of a possible 850 MN Title I schools. 

"We are even more pleased to note that if Hilltop and MWHS were also Title I schools, they would also be honored with the ‘Rewards’ designation,” Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning Mark Femrite said.

Title 1 schools qualify for federal funding based on demographic data to support student learning. Under MMR, Title 1 schools can receive the following designations: "Reward" School which means the MMR score is in the top 15 percent of all Title I schools in Minnesota. “Focus” School which is the 10 percent of Title 1 schools showing the largest achievement gaps in the state for one or more groups of students or “Priority” School—the bottom 5 percent of schools on the MMR—persistently low-performing schools.

MMR came about earlier this year when the state of Minnesota requested and received a waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB).

The waiver was requested because the law—with its focus on single test scores—had not significantly helped move student achievement, mislabeled too many schools as failing and did not recognize schools with tremendous success.

According to Minnesota’s Department of Education Commissioner Dr. Brenda Cassellius, the state’s highest priority is ensuring that all children, not just some children, are doing well. With that goal in mind, MMR was developed. MMR’s new accountability targets include an aggressive goal for closing achievement gaps by 50 percent over the next six years, and new measures to monitor progress in closing those gaps. 

MMR is designed to gauge school performance in four target areas. Each target is worth 25 points. An MMR score is calculated based on a school’s number of points earned from each target divided by the total number of points. The four target areas are:

1. Proficiency (AYP calculation*): Did the school meet its performance target?

2. Student achievement growth from one year to the next: Did individual students meet their growth target? Are students making expected progress?

3. Achievement Gap Closure: Did the school make progress closing its overall achievement gaps?

4. Graduation Rate (high school only): Did the school increase its graduation rate?

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