April 4, 2003
Writing Skills Test Results Released
Only 3.3 Percent of Seniors Still Need to Pass Test
By Jean Pagano
Minnesota Department of Children, Families, and Learning released Basic
Writing test results on Tuesday April 1st.
The skills test in
written composition, administered in January 2003, is given to all
public school grade 10 students and is one of the required tests needed
graduate in Minnesota. While students have a number of opportunities to
the Basic Skills Tests (BST), over 90% of 10th
grade students passed
the written BST on the first try.
the written BST range from 0.0 to 6.0. The results achieved by students
BST are based on a number of factors contributing to the quality of the
composition. Organization, supporting arguments, spelling, grammar, and
punctuation are all factored into the final score. Trained
the exams and a successful composition can only have minor errors in
High school students in the Minnesota
must pass a series of BSTs in order to meet graduation requirements set
state. Students are tested in reading, mathematics, and written
part of the Basic Skills program. Students have more than one chance to
exam and a number of students do take the tests more than once.
test score for the written composition BST statewide was 3.2, and over
students, statewide, achieved this score. A score of 3.0 or better is
considered a passing score for the written composition test. Among
significant Native populations, the average test scores, for the most
were at or above the passing average. Bemidji schools had an average
BST score of 3.1 and 89.5 percent of students were at or above the
mark. Cass Lake had an average score just below passing of 2.9, but
students had a passing or better score. Cloquet schools had a 90.1%
rate and an average score of 3.3%, higher than the state average. Deer
posted a 3.0 average score with 86.7% of students in the passing
Duluth schools registered 91.4% passing and an average score of 3.2.
in Mahnomen schools had an average test score of 3.1 and an 84% passing
Minneapolis schools had an average written BST of 2.8 and a 69.6%
Red Lake schools registered somewhat lower than the state average (and
lowest in our sample) with a 64% passage rate and an average score of
Walker schools were higher than the state averages with average scores
and a passing percentage of 93.9. Waubun schools reported a 2.9 average
BST score and an 82.1% passing mark.
the Reading and Mathematics Basic Skills Tests will be released by the
Department of Children, Families, and Learning later this month.