Curriculum, Standards, and Testing
The Minnesota K-12 Academic Standards define expectations for the educational achievement of public school students across the state in grades K-12. The standards and benchmarks are important because they:
- Identify the knowledge and skills that all students must achieve by the end of a grade level
or grade band;
- Help define the course credit requirements for graduation; and
- Serve as a guide for the local adoption and design of curricula.
Student mastery of the standards is measured through state and local assessments.
State standards are in place for English language arts, mathematics, science, social studies and physical education. State standards also are available in the arts, or districts may choose to develop their own. Local standards must be developed by districts for health, world languages, and career and technical education.
- CURRICULUM REVIEW
- MINNESOTA AND COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS
- SOCIAL STUDIES STANDARDS DRAFT READY FOR RULEMAKING
- EARLY LEARNING STANDARDS
- ENGLISH LEARNER STANDARDS
Update as of July 1, 2021:
"REVISED ACADEMIC STANDARDS IMPLEMENTATION SUSPENSION. Notwithstanding Minnesota Statutes, section 120B.021, the commissioner of education must suspend until June 1, 2023 any implementation of revised academic standards not already implemented as of January 1, 2021 under Minnesota Statutes, section 120B.021. This suspension does not prevent the commissioner from continuing with current rulemaking activities or developing future statewide assessments.
The new full implementation schedule is:
- Physical Education: 2023-24
- Arts: 2023-24
- Science: 2024-25
- English Language Arts: 2025-26
- Social Studies: TBD (likely 2026-27)
- Mathematics: TBD (likely 2027-28)
Minnesota’s K-12 academic standards are reviewed in one content area per year, following the schedule specified in Minnesota Statutes, section 120B.021, subdivision 4. The schedule is as follows:
Revision in 2017-18, implementation by 2021-22; Revision in 2027-28, and every 10 years thereafter; implementation to be determined during rule making. (Districts may use state or local standards.)
Revision in 2018-19; implementation by 2023-24; Revision in 2028-29 and every 10 years thereafter; implementation to be determined during rule making.
English Language Arts
Revision 2019-20; implementation by 2024-25; Revision in 2029-2030 and every 10 years thereafter; implementation to be determined during rule making.
Revision in 2020-21; implementation to be determined during rule making; Revision in 2030-31 and every 10 years thereafter; implementation to be determined during rule making.
Revision in 2006-07; implementation by 2011-12; Revision in 2021-22 and every 10 years thereafter; implementation to be determined during rule making.
The commissioner must implement a review of the academic standards and related benchmarks in physical education beginning in the 2022-23 school year and every 10 years thereafter. MDE must adopt SHAPE America’s “National Standards & Grade-Level Outcomes for K-12 Physical Education” and will adapt them as needed in 2016-17; implementation by 2021-22. Revised every 10 years thereafter following the 2017 revision (Minn. Stat. § 120B.021, Subd. 1(c); Minn. Stat. § 120B.021, Subd.4(g)).
Academic standards in Health, Career and Technical Education, and World Languages must be established locally and reviewed on a locally determined periodic review cycle (Minn. Stat. § 120B.021, Subd.4 (g) and Minn. Stat. § 120B.022, Subd. 1). Districts must use the current world languages standards developed by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.
In 2010, Minnesota adopted the Common Core English language arts standards in their entirety and added some supplementary content. Public schools in Minnesota are required to implement the 2010 Minnesota K-12 Academic Standards - English Language Arts no later than the 2012-2013 school year.
At this time, Minnesota is not adopting the Common Core mathematics standards. The academic standards are revised according to a timetable specified in state statute (Minn. Stat. § 120B.023, Subd. 2). Since the 2007 Minnesota K-12 Academic Standards – Mathematics were revised prior to the development of the Common Core mathematics standards, legislative action would be needed in order for the state to adopt the Common Core mathematics standards before the next scheduled revision, in 2015.
Select the K-12 Academic Standards page to view the academic standards documents and related information.
After a year-long review process, the proposed revision of the 2004 social studies is now complete. The Minnesota K-12 Academic Standards in Social Studies and a frequently asked questions document related to the standards review process are available on in the Social Studies section of the K-12 Academic Standards MAP.
The Minnesota Department of Education joined the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) Consortium in 2011. Minnesota’s standards for English language development are the current standards developed by the WIDA Consortium. The WIDA ACCESS for ELLs® test will be administered to students who qualify for English learner services. The standards are grounded in scientifically based research and best practices in English as a Second Language (ESL) and bilingual education.
These standards, along with their performance indicators and related framework, provide Minnesota schools with a national model representing social, instructional and academic language guidelines.
- Kaposia Education Center Assessment Calendar
- Lincoln Center Elementary Assessment Calendar
- Middle School Assessment Calendar
- High School Assessment Calendar
- District Assessment Calendar
MDE Student and Families Statewide Testing site with links to:
- Assessment information and results
- Student participation
- Translated documents
- Parent/Guardian Guide and Refusal for Student Participation in Statewide Testing
Biennial Review of District Testing Program
Every two years districts are required to report on the district testing program. The report must include written objectives of testing program, names of tests and grade levels tested, use of test results, and student achievement results compared to previous years. The testing program incorporates federally mandated Title I and Title III assessments, state mandated assessments, and local assessments.
- READING AND MATH MINNESOTA COMPREHENSIVE ASSESSMENTS (MCA)
- SCIENCE MCA
- MINNESOTA TEST OF ACADEMIC SKILLS (MTAS)
MCAs are the state tests that help districts measure student progress toward Minnesota’s academic standards and meet the requirements of ESSA. Results are used to make decisions for students about curriculum and instructional practices. The Math MCA is administered to students in grades 3-8 and 11, and the Reading MCA is administered to students in grades 3-8 and 10. The Science MCA is administered to students in grades 5, 8, and at the high school level when the student finishes their Life Science (Biology) course. SSPPS students typically finish the Life Science course and take the Science MCA in grade 10.
MTAS is Minnesota’s alternate assessment based on alternate achievement standards. The MTAS is designed to measure the extent to which students with significant cognitive disabilities are making progress in the general curriculum. The Math MTAS is administered to students in grades 3-8 and 11, and the Reading MTAS is administered to students in grades 3-8 and 10. The Science MTAS is administered to students in grades 5, 8, and at the high school level when the student finishes their Life Science (Biology) course. South St Paul students typically finish the Life Science course and take the Science MCA in grade 10.
Title III Assessments
Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State (ACCESS)
ACCESS for English Learners is a large-scale assessment of English language proficiency based on the WIDA English Language Development Standards. There are four language domains to the ACCESS for ELLs for students in grades K–12: reading, writing, listening and speaking. These English language proficiency assessment results are used for federal Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives (AMAO) and determine state English learner funding for districts. This test is administered to students in grade level clusters: K, 1-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12.
Graduation Assessment Requirements
In order to be eligible for a diploma from Minnesota public high school, all students must fulfill graduation assessment requirements.
Students Enrolled in Grade 8 in 2012-13 and Later: These students will meet graduation assessment requirements through the career and college assessment system, which was first administered in the 2014-2015 school year. The career and college assessment system will include a Career and College Assessment in grade 8 and 10 and a grade 11 College Entrance Assessment. Students not yet academically ready for a career or college based on their growth in academic achievement between grades 8 and 10 must take the college placement diagnostic exam before taking the college entrance assessment in grade 11.
FAST earlyMath and earlyReading are comprised of 3-4 numeracy or literacy subtests administered individually to Pre-K, K and grade 1 students.
FAST aMath and aReading are 30 item, adaptive tests administered individually to students in grades 2-8.
- MINNESOTA STUDENT SURVEY
- NATIONAL ASSESSMENT OF EDUCATIONAL PROGRESS
- SOCIAL, ACADEMIC, AND EMOTIONAL BEHAVIOR RISK SCREENER
- EQUAL OPPORTUNITY SCHOOLS SURVEY
South St. Paul Public Schools (SSPPS) participates in the Minnesota Student Survey. This statewide survey, which is anonymous, confidential, and voluntary, is given every three years to students in grades 5, 8, 9, and 11. It helps gather insights into the world of Minnesota students and their experiences.
SSPPS administers the survey in late February. Parents/guardians have the right to view the survey prior to administration and decline their child’s participation. Notifications of the final survey date and opportunity to view the survey will be sent to respective families at the beginning of February. Additional information can be found on the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) website: https://education.mn.gov/MDE/dse/health/mss/mde059027.
If you have any questions or would like to speak to someone about this survey, please contact your school’s assistant principal and assessment coordinator.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) survey questionnaires are voluntarily completed by students, teachers, and school administrators who participate in a NAEP assessment. Survey questionnaires collect additional information about students' demographics and K-12 education experiences. Responses to the questionnaires provide important information for educators, policymakers, and researchers to better understand the context in which students learn, and, in turn, can help improve education in our classrooms.
The SAEBRS (Social, Academic, and Emotional Behavior Risk Screener) is a brief, norm-referenced tool for screening all students to identify those who are at risk for social-emotional behavior (SEB) problems. SAEBRS is one of the only SEB universal screening tools built to align with a dual-factor model of student social-emotional functioning, which asserts that mental health should be defined by both the absence of problem behaviors and symptomatology (e.g., internalizing and externalizing behaviors) and the presence of well-being and competencies (e.g., social-emotional skills).
This survey is designed to reveal overall trends in information, expectations, and belonging in our International Baccalaureate (IB) program, as well as to uncover the individual strengths and challenges of students in our school. WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF SURVEYING? The survey enables us to learn more about the perceptions of the IB program in our school by staff and students.
The survey is designed by EOS to help us:
- Uncover attitudes and perceptions about college readiness and college aspirations.
- Reveal causes of equity issues in our school.
- Identify students who have the potential to benefit from increased academic challenge.
- Gather information about current resources and supports for students and staff as well as suggestions to meet additional needs.
WHY DO ALL STUDENTS NEED TO TAKE THE SURVEY? The key to understanding student perceptions of our IB program is to hear from ALL students. Maximizing input from our 9th -12th grade students helps identify access barriers and increases the likelihood of enhancing and expanding our IB program.