Test Administration

The Statewide Testing division provides information and assistance to District Assessment Coordinators (DACs), the school district's main contact for the administration of state assessments. Go to the links on the left for additional information on the assessments, such as testing calendars and alternate assessment requirements. Links are provided on the right to offsite websites and related pages on our site.

Additional resources for teachers including achievement level descriptors, test specifications and how to register for advisory panels are available in the Educator Excellence section. See the link to Testing Resources for Teachers.

An overview of the changes to the Minnesota Assessment System based on legislation and funding for 2015 are provided in the Minnesota Assessment System and Requirements Changes 2014–2017 document provided below.

Assessment Vendors and Procedures Manual
Pearson provides the MCA and MTAS assessments in mathematics, reading, and science. The WIDA consortium develops the ACCESS and Alternate ACCESS for ELLs assessments that are administered to all English learners. 

For the 2014–2015 school year, ACT provided the grade 8 ACT Explore, grade 10 ACT Plan, ACT Compass college placement diagnostic assessment and grade 11 ACT Plus Writing college entrance exam. Based on legislation enacted in 2015, these assessments will not be administered statewide in the 2015–2016 school year and forward.

The Procedures Manual for the Minnesota Assessments provides information about the Minnesota assessments, district staff roles and responsibilities, and test administration practices, policies, and procedures, and can be found on the Resources page of PearsonAccess under Manuals.

Statewide Testing communicates with DACs and other interested district staff in a variety of ways, including a weekly Assessment Update newsletter, trainings, and an annual summer assessment conference. DACs, district technology coordinators and superintendents automatically receive the weekly Assessment Update. Other interested district staff may email their name, email address, and district name and number to mde.testing@state.mn.us to receive the newsletter. Statewide assessment questions should be directed to the person listed below who serves your area code:

Assessment Contacts by Area Code

Area CodeName and Email LinkPhone
218Julie Nielsen-Fuhrmann651-582-8837
320, 507Lisa Grasdalen651-582-8485
612Jennifer Burton651-582-8622
651, 763, 952Tracy Cerda651-582-8692

Assessment Advisory Groups
A variety of groups and organizations advise the Minnesota Assessment System. Each serves a specific role and their combined efforts contribute significantly to the program’s success. For information about our advisory groups, see Statewide Testing Advisory Groups. To apply, complete the Advisory Committee Application. To register for the advisory panels that review the development of each test, choose the link to Test Resources for Teachers.

Test Policies and Procedures Committee
The Test Policies and Procedures Committee (TPPC) met from October 2014 through June 2015 and reviewed MDE’s policies and procedures to ensure the integrity of test scores. The Committee considered best practices in test security and data integrity and made recommendations to the Department.  See the Test Policies and Procedures Committee Recommendations and Final Report for the recommendations and initial assessment of requirements for implementation.

Test Security Tip Line
Maintaining the integrity of tests and test items is of great importance to the Minnesota Department of Education. Improper or unethical behavior by students or educators undermines the validity of test score interpretation. Please report suspected incidents of cheating or piracy of test items using the Minnesota Statewide Test Security Tip Line.