The Red Wing School Board was presented with the previous year's MCA results, showing parent refusals to have students take the tests are continuing to rise and performance is dropping.

Over the past three academic years, parent refusals have more than tripled, according to Director of Teaching & Learning Joe Jezierski.

Jezierski said in the 2015-2016 school year, there were 44 parent refusals in the district. The next year, they jumped to 145. Last year, there were 188.

A student isn't required to take the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment, a statewide test that helps districts measure student progress over time. These tests are given in reading, math and science over a number of years while in school.

Dr. Beth Borgen, the district's director of support services, said Red Wing even had 12 students flat out refuse to take the test.

Red Wing School Board member Steve Anderson was confused by the parent refusals, saying "to me it just doesn't make any sense," saying test such as the MCA's help prepare students for post-secondary education.

Borgen said between test anxiety and a large amount of testing coming around the same time, it's difficult for students to prepare and want to take these large, dense tests.

"As soon as MCA's are over ... then we start the AP exams," Borgen said. "And so it just gets to be this whole swell of tests all at the same time."

Red Wing School Board member Bethany Borgschatz pointed out that's likely why the highest amount of refusals come from high school.

In math, 40 high school students didn't take the test. In reading, 41 10th-grade students didn't take the test. Science had the most high school refusals with 62.

Student who don't take the tests don't affect the overall score the district will receive.

While the refusals continue to come in, the testing scores also have Jezierski and Borgen concerned.

Over the last four years math scores have been relatively steady, with last year improving slightly, up from 44.9 percent to 45.8 percent. Reading has also seen the same scores as math, but the 2017-2018 school year dropped by almost 3 percent to 57 percent.

The largest drop has been in science, remaining steady for three years, but dropping significantly from 51.6 percent to 40.6 percent in the 2017-2018 school year.

In a grade breakdown in the testing, a number of grades didn't meet the statewide standards.

School Board Vice-Chair Heidi Jones said she is "dismayed" by the results, asking how to does the district hold itself accountable and how will it change its ways.

Jezierski said the numbers aren't where they want them to be. Jezierski continued to say the reason why he and Borgen are presenting to the board is to explain the numbers, rather than not address them.

Jezierski said the educators are working hard to instruct their students, but the district will need to look into aligning its standards with some of the MCA's standards.

Inside the district, Jezierski said they've already begun more reading and math intervention to help address some of these issues.