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Title I Assessments

The Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCAs) and the Minnesota Test of Academic Skills (MTAS) are the state tests that help districts measure student progress toward Minnesota’s academic standards and also meet the requirements of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Students take one test in math, reading, and science as outlined below. Most students take the MCA, but students who receive special education services and meet eligibility requirements may take the MTAS. The list below gives the tests available for each subject, with grades given in parentheses behind each test.

Reading: MCA (grades 3-8, 10) or MCA-Modified (grades 5-8,10) or MTAS (grades 3-8, 10)

Mathematics: MCA (grades 3-8, 11) or MCA-Modified (grades 5-8, 11) or MTAS (grades 3-8, 11)

Science: MCA or MTAS (grades 5, 8 and high school)

Every Student Succeeds Act

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) creates two main types of support for schools – comprehensive support and targeted support – with multiple ways to be identified for each type of support. Minnesota’s World’s Best Workforce law (WBWF) requires districts to be identified as well. Minnesota’s state plan under ESSA creates a third type of support, provided by the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE).

A three-stage process is the basis for most identifications. Stage 1 looks at math achievement, reading achievement, and progress toward English language proficiency. Stage 2 looks at math progress and reading progress in elementary and middle schools, four-year and seven-year graduation rates in high schools, and all four of those indicators in districts. Stage 3 looks at consistent attendance. More information about each of these indicators is available on the Accountability Indicators page.

Under the North Star system, Minnesota makes most identifications on a three-year cycle, beginning with the 2018-19 school year.

District Accountability

The three stages are used to identify the lowest 10 percent of traditional districts and the lowest 10 percent of charter schools. The commissioner of education can also use other data to identify additional districts. This is illustrated in more detail in the School and District Accountability: District Identification training module.

Comprehensive Support

Schools identified for comprehensive support receive ongoing onsite technical assistance from the Regional Centers of Excellence, coordinated with the school’s district. This support is customized based on the school’s context, student population, and specific needs. Learn more about Comprehensive Support.

Targeted Support

Schools identified for targeted support receive most of their support from their local school district. They are also able to participate in specialized professional development and networking opportunities provided by the Regional Centers of Excellence. Learn more about Targeted Support.

Support from the Minnesota Department of Education

Title I schools below performance thresholds for any Stage 1 indicator will receive opportunities to participate in professional development and networking coordinated by MDE.

Identification Timelines

Most identifications happen on a three-year cycle, beginning with the 2018-19 school year. The exception is schools identified for targeted support because a student group is below performance thresholds. These schools are identified annually based on the three most recent years of data.