The Minnesota Department of Education announced Nov. 1 that Moorhead’s Ellen Hopkins Elementary School is eligible to apply for Celebration School recognition. Ellen Hopkins Elementary’s celebration-eligible status is based on improvements in the school’s Multiple Measurement Rating (MMR).
The MMR measures proficiency, student growth, achievement gap reduction and graduation rates. Schools earn points in each category, and the percentage of possible points a school earns is the school’s MMR. This new tool is part of Minnesota’s waiver from No Child Left Behind.
All schools receive ratings, but Title I schools may receive additional designations. In Moorhead, both Hopkins Elementary and Robert Asp Elementary are Title I schools. Robert Asp Elementary was designated as celebration eligible in August.
Celebration-eligible schools are the 25 percent of Title I schools with MMRs between the 60th and 86th percentiles and are eligible to submit an application explaining factors that make the school effective. Of those applications, MDE will select approximately 10 percent of Title I schools for the Celebration School recognition.
Ellen Hopkins was identified as a Focus School based on the initial MMR in May 2012 and has written a school improvement plan that was presented to the School Board in August. Focus Schools are the 10 percent of Title I schools with the largest achievement gaps in the state. These schools are identified once every three years.
On Aug. 30, the Minnesota Department of Education released the MMR based on 2011-12 test results and data. Ellen Hopkins Elementary improved by 47.9 percent, going from 34.19 percent to 82.04 percent on the MMR, and from 26.67 percent to 81.96 percent on the Focus Rating (FR), a 55.3 percent increase over last year.
A school’s Focus Rating is a secondary measurement within the MMR that measures schools specifically on the performance of student subgroups that may show an achievement gap in Minnesota (Black, Hispanic, Asian, American Indian, Free/Reduced Price Lunch, Special Education and English Learners). The state’s goal is to close the achievement gaps by 50 percent over the next six years.