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Letter: Math and Science Academy tops state with average ACT score

To the editor:

As a subscriber and reader of the Woodbury Bulletin, I am frequently treated to articles noting the accomplishments of students at Woodbury High School. Those excellent students deserve all the accolades the paper sends their way. However, there is another public school in Woodbury whose students also deserve public praise from the Woodbury Bulletin. This school is the Math and Science Academy.

A common misconception about MSA, and charter schools in general, is that the students are handpicked for admittance based on some sort of entrance examination. Nothing could be further from the truth. By law, as a public school, MSA must admit all students who apply. If applications exceed available space (as is routinely the case for MSA), admission is randomly determined through a lottery. Thus, students at MSA represent a cross section of the student population of the surrounding communities.

What is exceptional about MSA is that all students have always been held to high standards, much as a local superintendent of schools advocated in an Oct. 10 editorial. MSA's students fully embrace those expectations and perform exceedingly well in life and on standardized testing, including the ACT.

Yes, the students of Woodbury High School are to be commended for exceeding the state average score on the ACT. In that Woodbury Bulletin report, MSA's students should have also received recognition for being the top performers in the state of Minnesota with a composite average score of 28.4. This is the second year in a row, and the third time in the past five years, that MSA's students earned the state's top score.

Ken Thielman, MSA Board Chair