The Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs) and alternate assessment, Minnesota Test of Academic Skills (MTAS), are the statewide tests that help districts measure student progress toward Minnesota's academic standards and meet the requirements of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Third through eighth graders take assessments in reading and math. Fifth and eighth graders take science MCAs as well. Most students take the MCA, but students who receive special education services and meet eligibility criteria may take the MTAS.
As a public charter school, we are required to align our curriculum and instruction with Minnesota State Standards. MCA assessments are then used to measure student progress in relation to the standards they have been instructed in throughout the year.
Unless students require specific accommodations, MCA assessments are taken on computers. Classroom teachers support students by teaching them how to navigate the online MCA assessments by ensuring opportunities to take MCA Item Samplers online in advance of testing. The online samplers contain an accessibility panel that all students should become accustomed to in order to most accurately demonstrate their progress on MCAs. Students and families are welcome to use the items samplers at home as well to support students in familiarizing themselves with the test features. Item samplers are not practice tests and cannot be used to predict how well students will perform on the actual assessments, but are very useful tools in familiarizing students with the format and features of the tests.
You may access Item Samplers by entering the link below into your web browser and then clicking on the Student Resources tab and then Item Samplers. A student tutorial is also available.
The MCA testing schedule can be found here. Classroom teachers will also be in communication with students and families regarding specific testing dates for your student’s homeroom. Any changes will be communicated through the school’s webpages.