State Testing Information

2017-17 State Testing Information

The Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs) and alternate assessment, Minnesota Test of Academic Skills (MTAS), are the statewide tests that help districts measure student progress toward Minnesota's academic standards and meet the requirements of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Students take one test in each subject. Most students take the MCA, but students who receive special education services and meet eligibility criteria may take the MTAS.

Test dates:
High Schools: March 13 and 14 (Grade 10 reading and grade 11 math)
High Schools: April 9-13 (The science MCA, generally grade 10 students, will be administered during the week of April 9-13. (Students should consult with their science teacher for specific dates.)

Middle Schools: April 17 and 18 (Grades 6-8 reading)
Middle Schools: April 24 and 25 (Grades 6-8 math) 
Middle Schools: April 30-May 4 (Grade 8 students will take the science MCA sometime during the week of April 30. (Students should consult with their science teacher for specific dates.)

Elementary Schools: April 17, 18 and 19 (grades 3-5 reading)
Elementary Schools: April 24, 25 and 26 (grades 3-5 math) 
Elementary Schools: May 1 and 2 (grade 5 science) 

Test Security Information for Students: 
As part of a culture of academic integrity, we would like to remind families and students of the importance of test security and the expectation that students will keep test content secure and act with honesty and integrity during test administration. The district expects students to do the following:
Students should do their own best work to show what they know and can do.
Students should not accept help finding answers to test items.
Students should not give answers to other students.
Students should not tell others what is on the test.
There may be consequences if students do not follow directions or if they behave dishonestly

Cell Phones: 
State assessment procedures state that students may NOT use or access cell phones, wearable technology, or any other devices at any time during testing, including during breaks or when testing is completed.  Parents and students may want to keep these devices at home on testing days.

If students bring cell phones to testing rooms the district policy is as follows (this includes wearable devices such as smart watches):
Student must turn cell phone OFF (not just silenced as personal alarms could still be active).
Student is given an envelope.
Student places phone in envelope, seals the envelope.
Student stores the envelope where it will be inaccessible during testing.
If a student receives a notification (e.g., ringtone, vibration) during testing, the students must hand the phone (which should be in an envelope) to the Test Monitor.
If there is any question that the student accessed the phone or other electronic device (for example, a smart watch), the test must be invalidated.

Test Security Concerns
If you have any concerns about suspected incidents of cheating or other improper or unethical behavior on statewide assessments, you can report that information to your school principal, the district’s Research, Evaluation and Assessment department (rea@rdale.org or 763-504-8103).

Maintaining the integrity of tests and test items is of great importance to the Minnesota Department of Education. Improper or unethical behavior by students or educators undermines the validity of test score interpretation. Please report suspected incidents of cheating or piracy of test items using the Minnesota Statewide Test Security Tip Line or by contacting the Minnesota Department of Education (mde.testing@state.mn.us or 651-582-8674) 

Frequently Asked Questions: Why Statewide Test Results Matter
Minnesota’s statewide tests are objective, standardized measures of student achievement on academic or proficiency standards. Students, families, teachers and administrators use statewide test results as part of a comprehensive system for evaluating learning. Answers to frequently asked questions explain the purpose for statewide testing and why it is important to ensure the integrity of test scores: Frequently Asked Questions: Why Statewide Test Results Matter.

Student Participation in Statewide Assessments
Minnesota Statutes, section 120B.31, subdivision 4a, requires the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) to publish a form for parents/guardians to complete if they refuse to have their student participate in state-required standardized assessments. The Parent/Guardian Guide to Statewide Testing document provides some basic information to help parents/guardians make informed decisions that benefit their child and their school and community. The form to meet this legislative requirement is available at the link below; it must be returned to your student's district. Your student’s district may require additional information. Parent/Guardian Guide and Refusal for Student Participation in Statewide Testing Form