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Performance in Science on the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments–Series II for Students in Grades 5 and 8

This report examines how grade 5 and grade 8 student achievement on the 2009/10 MCA–II science assessment differed by student and school characteristics (gender, eligibility for free or reduced-price lunch, special education status, race/ethnicity, and prior-year academic achievement). The study found that most of the variation in scores was associated with demographic differences among students rather than with differences between schools.

Key findings include:
  • Student achievement on the MCA–II science assessment differed across demographic subgroups, favoring male students, students not eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, non–special education students, and White students.
  • After accounting for student characteristics, science achievement tended to be higher in schools with a smaller percentage of students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch and a larger percentage of White students.
  • No school characteristics based on teacher composition were related to student science achievement after accounting for other student and school characteristics.
Publication Type:
Issues & Answers
Online Availability:
Publication Date:
April 2012