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Like state, Morris Area reading scores drop in recent testing

MORRIS – Morris Area students scored consistently higher than the state average in required reading, math and science tests, but improving reading scores will remain a priority, Morris Area High School Principal Craig Peterson told the school board Tuesday.

On the whole, Morris Area students scored higher that the state average on last year’s Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments, although individual grade levels varied. In total:

  • 61.5 percent of students were proficient in reading compared to 57.6 percent statewide
  • 71.7 percent of students were proficient in math compared to 60.2 percent statewide
  • 63.6 percent of students were proficient in science compared to 52.4 percent statewide.

Like other districts across the state, Morris Area’s overall reading proficiency dropped due to a more difficult reading test, Peterson said.

Statewide, reading proficiency dropped from about 77 percent to 57 percent. Morris Area dropped from 81 percent down to 62 percent.

“It’s not that, oh my gosh, Morris Area dropped 20 percent, it’s comparable to the state and what we did,” said Peterson.

“All schools dropped because of a different test.” he continued. “I’m not spinning gold start and hugs here – we can do a lot better – but we’re doing pretty good.”

This is the last year that students will take the MCAs or GRAD tests, said Peterson. Previously, students were required to pass a ninth grade writing test, a tenth grade reading test and an eleventh grade math test.

Beginning this year, students are required to take a college or career readiness assessment like the ASVAB, ACT or Work Keys assessment. High school staff will be meeting with students to discuss the changes, Peterson said.

More information about student test scores can be found online at the Minnesota Department of Education Data Center at