How does low academic achievement affect the health of this community? The answer lies in a series of national research studies that show highly-educated individuals are happier and healthier on average, make better personal financial decisions, suffer fewer spells of unemployment, and are more likely to participate in civic affairs and volunteer.

At Create CommUNITY, we are bringing together businesses, civic leaders and community members to reverse troubling dropout rates and poor academic performance, and to equip all students with the tools they need to become productive workers and successful citizens. Local test scores and graduation rates show change is needed. Our community’s future vitality depends on it.


Students of color are falling behind in math and reading achievement: Only 49% of Black 8th graders met the state’s standards for reading, compared to 67% of White students. For math, that falls to 20% for Black students, compared to 58% for White students. (Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment, 2005-06)

Students of color are less likely to graduate from high school and pursue higher education: 63% percent of Black students graduated from high school, compared to 93% of White students. 75% of White students graduated from St. Cloud State University, compared to 52% Asian Americans and 63% Black and American Indian students. Technical college graduate rates follow a similar pattern.

Our Goal

Narrow the gap between 8th grade standardized test scores for students of color and white students

Narrow the gap between MAP (Measurements of Academic Progress) testing scores for students of color and white students

Taking Action

Create CommUNITY has identified solutions and metrics to narrow the achievement gap and position students of color for future success. Here’s a look at some of the key steps Create CommUNITY will take to achieve results:

  • Support community, student or family projects aimed at improving math and reading skills.
  • Provide Dismantling Racism training for school employees, families and community members who are involved with students of color.
  • Bring in expert consultants in educational attainment issues to provide annual training for teachers, administrators, support staff and students.
  • Engage families of color to identify solutions to educational attainment issues.
  • Invest in MAP testing for kindergarten and first grade students in three schools in Public School District #742 for 2009/2010 & 2010/2011. See September 29, 2009 news article “Achievement