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Two-thirds of MN schools are making progress in reducing the achievement gap

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Nearly two-thirds of Minnesota schools are making progress to reduce the achievement gap between students of color and their white counterparts by 2017.

That's according to the state Department of Education's 2015 School Accountability Results, which takes a look at how schools are doing across the state by evaluating and rating their performances on state exams, student improvement over time, reducing the achievement gap, and increasing graduation rates, a news release says.

The data released Tuesday shows how well Minnesota schools are doing at reducing the achievement gap among its students – comparing the achievement of white students and students of color, those living in poverty, those receiving special education services, and English learners.

The state's goal is to cut the gap in half by 2017, and according to the data almost two-thirds of schools are on track to meet that goal.

Forty-three percent of Minnesota schools met all their 2015 targets in reading, with an additional 22 percent of schools meeting all but one target. Forty-one percent of schools met 2015 targets in math, with an additional 21 percent meeting all but one target, the results show.

119 among top-performing Title I schools

The Department of Education has also released its annual list of the highest-performing schools in Minnesota that receive Title I funding – meaning they have a high number of students in poverty

The 2015 Reward schools – the top 15 percent of top-performing public schools – included 119 schools. Among them were 14 schools that have achieved the Reward designation for a fifth consecutive time, the release notes.

Last year, the state named the lowest-performing schools (Focus or Priority schools) – a rating that is done every three years – and nearly half of the 155 schools on the list were concentrated in the Twin Cities, MPR News reported.

However, early results show that these schools are getting better, with 65 percent of current Priority and 63 percent of current Focus schools have shown improved growth from 2014 to 2015, the release notes.

Click here to see how each school compares.

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