Rockford REAMS Now Making AYP

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Rockford REAMS Now Making AYP

Postby nikidog » Thu Dec 27, 2012 11:49 pm

An update on Rockford School District’s AYP scores.

In the December 2012 Rocket Report article “Being a Reward School,” it is announced that Rockford Elementary Arts Magnet School (REAMS) is, unlike the last year, “currently making Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) and was named a Reward School in the spring of 2012” for “reducing the achievement gap.” As the article notes, “This rating [Reward School] is given to the top performing 15 percent Title I schools in the state of Minnesota.” Apparently, “Last year the state implemented a new Multiple Measures Rating system (MMR)” which found that “REAMS students are making AYP in all areas of reading and math and will be eligible for Celebration status this year.” (

What does this all mean? The Minnesota Department of Education explains its new Multiple Measurement Rating (MMR) in the following manner:

“The Multiple Measurement Rating (MMR) is a measurement of school performance used for holding schools accountable under Minnesota's approved No Child Left Behind waiver. The MMR considers the proficiency, growth, achievement gap reduction and graduation rates of schools. Points are assigned in each of the four domains based on a school's percentile rank among schools with the same grade range, and the total MMR is the percentage of possible points that the school earned. The Focus Rating (FR) is a secondary measurement within the MMR that measures schools specifically on the performance of student subgroups that exhibit a statistical achievement gap in Minnesota.”

The “student subgroups” that “exhibit a statistical achievement gap” include Black, Hispanic, Asian, American Indian, Free/Reduced Price Lunch, Special Education, and English Learners.(

Basically, each public school in the state of Minnesota that receives Title I funding gets an MMR ranking of “reward,” ‘priority,” “focus,” or “celebration eligible.”

“Now, most of Minnesota's 2,000 public schools received an overall numerical ranking, but only 255 schools -- those schools receiving federal poverty aid -- got one of three designations: Reward, the highest performers; Priority, the lowest performers; and Focus, schools that did the worst at closing the state's achievement gap, a gap considered among the worst in the nation.” (

According to an article in the Brainerd Dispatch, “the highest-performing 15 percent of Title I schools in the state” are “Reward Schools.” The same article also states that there are 128 such “Reward” schools in the state. (

I am confused by this number of “Reward” schools. If there are 128 out of the 225 Minnesota Title I schools that make this rating, then about 57% of all state Title I schools are “Reward” schools. However, only the top 15% of Title I schools receive the “Reward School” status. Perhaps the cited 128 schools is a mistakenly high number.

At any rate, some schools may receive a “Celebration Eligible” ranking. According to the Minnesota Department of Education, “Celebration Eligible Schools are in the 60th to 85th percentile of top performing schools based on their Multiple Measurement Rating. They may apply to become a Celebration School. Ten percent of eligible schools are recognized annually.”

Where does REAMS stand in this system? According to the Minnesota Department of Education, for the 2012-2013 school year, Rockford Elementary Arts Magnet School earned an MMR ranking as a “celebration eligible” school. The following are the Multiple Measurement Ratings for the school from 2010-2012: 61.75% (2010), 87.99% (2011), and 65.42% (2012). The REAMS Focus ratings are: 46.48% (2010), 91.84% (2011), and 77.19% (2012). Here, an MMR rating or Focus rating of 50% is average, with 100% being optimal.

Rockford Middle School and Rockford High School did not get MMR ratings for the 2012-2013 year because they did not apply for Title I funding this year. (

REAMS appears relatively comparable to other area elementary schools in terms of their MMR rating for the 2012-2013 school year. Delano Elementary School is a “Reward School,” a slightly higher ranking than REAMS. Of the MMR-ranked elementary schools in the Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose Public School District, Northwinds Elementary and Tantanka Elementary were both deemed “Celebration Eligible.” In the Monticello Public School District, Little Mountain Elementary was “Celebration Eligible,” and Pinewood Elementary was a “Reward School.”

Nearby bigger and more affluent districts were also similar. In the Wayzata Public School District, among MMR-rated elementary schools, Birchview Elementary and Gleason Lake Elementary were “Celebration Eligible,” while Oakwood Elementary and Sunset Hill Elementary were both “Reward Schools.” In the Orono Public School District, of MMR-rated elementary schools, Orono Intermediate Elementary was designated a “Reward School.”

Only one nearby district that I examined ranked below REAMS and other area elementary schools. Watertown-Mayer Elementary School was ranked a “continuous improvement school,” meaning it was among “the bottom 25% of Title I schools” in the state.

According to the Rockford District, last spring, REAMS was a “Reward School.” I was unable to find MMR rankings for schools during the 2011-2012 school year on the Minnesota Department of Education Site. Basically, last spring then, REAMS was among the top 15% of all Minnesota Title I schools. This school year, REAMS fell slightly into the 60th to 85th percentile as a “Celebration Eligible” school.

Overall, this is good news for REAMS. It would seem that the school is “reducing the achievement gap”
in terms of math and reading scores on the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA). REAMS, in their MMR-ranking, is about on par with area districts. So, it’s good news, not great news, but hopeful news. At least we appear to be going in the right direction, from not making AYP from 2009 to 2011 ( to making AYP as of 2012, and can count ourselves in the 60th to 85th percentile of the 225 Minnesota schools receiving Title I aid. Let’s hope that making AYP becomes a new and improved trend.
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