The MNVA is a public school. As such, we are subject to the same requirements for accountability as any other Minnesota public school. While accountability requirements are viewed by some as cumbersome mandates, we strive to use the information gained from these requirements to tailor instruction to maximize student achievement, to enhance our instructional programs throughout the school district, and to improve our overall effectiveness as an educational institution.
Our view of state-standardized, and school-sponsored testing is focused less on judging students’ capabilities, and more on identifying the right educational process for each child. We also use the composite results of the tests to assess how we are doing as an educational system; to identify where we need to focus professional development resources.
All MNVA students participate in state standardized tests. MNVA teaching staff and administration use the results of these assessments to formulate plans for system-wide enhancements. These enhancements will ultimately improve the services we deliver to all of our students.
In addition to the state assessments, the MNVA has implemented the Northwest Evaluation Association’s (NWEA) Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) testing. MAP tests are used to establish a baseline as students enter the program. The MAP tests are administered twice each year, in the fall and spring. We use the results of these tests to identify areas of strength and need in order to appropriately focus lesson and activity plans for each student. This information assists teachers and schools in modifying instructional delivery and content for improved student performance. The results are also used to assess students’ academic growth over time.
Attendance is a requirement for all public schools. In the traditional school, this is a straightforward process of counting the students in the classroom. At the MNVA, attendance is measured more by demonstrated progression through lessons, as well as time logged by the parent in the online school.