Learning Assessments

Learning Assessments at Robbinsdale Area Schools
Posted on 01/11/2019
Rdale logoRobbinsdale Area Schools is committed to providing students with a high-quality learning environment. Our Unified District Vision compels us to ensure every student graduates career, articulated skilled trades and college ready. Per the request of many parents, we are excited to share information about the connection between performance on learning assessments and readiness for the rigor of college and careers. Each year, all of our students will prepare for a number of standardized assessments, such as:
  • Formative Assessment for Teachers (FAST), a district-required assessment in grades PreK-8, which occurs multiple times throughout the school year;
  • Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA), a state-required assessment in grades 3-8, 10 and 11, which occurs in March and April;
  • ACT, a nationally-recognized college entrance exam developed by a non-profit organization which was originally named American College Testing, and is administered by the district due to state requirements, which occurs in April.

The assessments administered by our district are a way to measure student achievement and academic progress. Some assessment tools are designed to summarize how well a student has mastered learning expectations. Other assessments are used on a daily basis by teachers in the classroom to help them tailor instructional and learning activities to the unique needs of all students.

Performing well on assessments is important for all students. Research has linked student performance on state and national assessments to readiness for careers and college. Most occupations require initial and continuing assessments specific to professional development.  Also, for college, if a student demonstrates proficiency in reading and math on their MCA exams, their families could realize cost-savings and other benefits. Students’ high school MCA scores could affect their placement in post-secondary college courses if they enroll in any of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MNSCU) schools.   The table below shows the course type and MCA scores for college-level course placement at MNSCU schools:

Intended Course
of Enrollment
(or equivalent)

MCA Score Needed to Reach Proficiency

ACT Score Equivalent to MCA Proficiency

Placement in College Developmental Course Unless Additional Information Indicates Otherwise

Minnesota State Schools Need More Information on Readiness for Course Placement

Placement in Minnesota State College Level Course


1050 and above

19 - ACT Reading

1041 and below


1047 and above

College Algebra

1150 and above

22 - ACT Math

1151 and below


1158 and above


1150 and above

22 - ACT Math

1145 and below


1148 and above

Liberal Arts Mathematics

1150 and above

22 - ACT Math

1145 and below


1150 and above


As a part of our efforts to assist students in performing well on assessments, we have asked building administrators to work with teachers to schedule class assignments in a manner which does not interfere with students’ preparation. As such, we are requesting teachers refrain from scheduling due dates for major assignments on the day of (and the day after) required state and national assessments.

Thank you for continuing to partner with us in ensuring our students are ready for learning assessments. Please encourage your student(s) to get adequate rest the night before an assessment, as well as eat a nutritional breakfast. These efforts can help students focus on demonstrating their knowledge to the best of their ability. As an additional resource, you are invited to read the following articles: 10 ways to overcome test anxiety Strategies to ease test anxiety Planning for testing success
Mindfulness for children

Thank you for continuing to partner with us on your students’ educational journey. Together, we can achieve academic excellence for all students.


Dr. Stephanie Burrage

Assistant Superintendent, Robbinsdale Area Schools