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For Immediate Release
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Contact:Heidi Guarino 781-338-3106

New DOE Report Shows Class of 2008 Outperforming Previous Classes on MCAS

92 Percent Already Met Standard After Three Tries

MALDEN - After just three tries, 92 percent of students in the class of 2008 have already met the state's graduation requirement by passing the Math and English MCAS exams, besting the performance of their peers in previous years.

According to a new Department of Education report, 66,875 of the 72,684 students in the class of 2008 – this year's junior class - have met the state's graduation requirement. In contrast, 91 percent of the class of 2007, 90 percent of the class of 2006, 88 percent of the class of 2005, 87percent of the class of 2004 and 81 percent of the class of 2003 met the standard after three tries.

After five testing opportunities, 95 percent of students in the class of 2007 passed both exams in time to earn their competency determination and qualify to graduate with their peers.

Education Commissioner David P. Driscoll hailed the high number of students in both classes who met the graduation standard, but urged all high schoolers to strive for much more than a passing score.

"To me there is no greater sign of progress then to see more and more students passing these exams every year," he said. "Still, it's important to remember that simply passing is not good enough. Employers today are looking for college degrees, not just high school diplomas. To succeed in college, students need to push themselves to do more than just pass, and aim for proficiency and beyond on the Grade 10 tests, and throughout the rest of high school."

Results for the Class of 2007 show:

  • 66,077 of the 69,195 students in the class of 2007 earned a CD in time to graduate with their classmates.
  • This includes 74 percent of Limited English Proficient students, 80 percent of students classified as both LEP and formerly LEP, 80 percent of students with disabilities and 92 percent of low-income students.
  • The performance gap between white students and African-American and Hispanic students continued to narrow since the last retest administration in November 2006: 89 percent of African-American earned a CD, as did 89 percent of Hispanic students, 97 percent of Asian students and 97 percent of White students.
  • 97 percent of students at vocational-technical schools earned a CD.
  • 90 percent of students in urban districts passed, compared to 97 percent of students in non-urban districts.
  • Of the students who have not yet earned their CD, 332 (less than 1 percent) have passed only the math exam, 894 (1 percent) have passed only ELA, and 1,892 (3 percent) have not passed either exam.

Results for the Class of 2008 show:

  • 66,875 of the 72,684 students in the class of 2008 have already earned a CD.
  • This includes 57 percent of Limited English Proficient students, 65 percent of students classified as both LEP and formerly LEP, 74 percent of students with disabilities and 83 percent of low-income students.
  • The performance gap among students of different ethnicities is still evident: 77 percent of Hispanic students have earned a CD, as have 81 percent of African-Americans, 94 percent of Asians and 95 percent of White students.
  • 92 percent of students at vocational-technical schools earned a CD.
  • A gap is evident among students at urban and non-urban schools: 96 percent of students at non-urban schools passed, compared to 81 percent of students at urban schools.
  • Of the students who have not yet earned a CD, 638 (1 percent) have passed only the math exam, 2,326 (3 percent) have passed only ELA, and 2,845 (4 percent) have not passed either exam.

Students are first tested as sophomores, but have four retest opportunities before the end of their senior year. Those who do not pass before the end of their senior year are eligible for a Certificate of Attainment if they meet their local requirements for graduation, and are encouraged to return to take as many retests as needed to earn their diploma.

To view the full report and to review school and district results, look online at www.doe.mass.edu/mcas.



Last Updated: June 27, 2007
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