ST. CLOUD - District 742 superintendent Willie Jett is pledging improvements at Talahi, Discovery and Madison schools.

The announcement comes after the Minnesota Department of Education named Talahi Community as a "priorty school" and Discovery Community and Madison Elementary as "focus schools". Talahi is one of 44 Minnesota schools now considered a priority. All three schools will now receive additional support from the state to reduce the achievement gap.

The rankings are taken from the results of MEA tests, which measure reading and math skills. The schools are now required to spend 20 percent of their federal funds on school improvement work.

"Clearly, these ratings do not reflect the high expectations we hold for our district and we know we have hard work ahead of us," Jett said on an announcement on the district website.

The school board plans to address the achievement gap by putting more resources into its new K-12 literacy curriculum, college preparation, elementary pilot math programs and staff development. The district will now also put in data teams in all schools to monitor student achievement and teacher performance.

Jett says he and the board have challenged new leadership in each of the schools in regards to improving student achievement.

"We recognize that there is work to do and together we commit to: Prepare. Engage. Educate. Empower. Inspire." Jett said.