2009 School and District Results Show Schools Statewide Made MCAS Gains- Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Contact:Heidi Guarino 781-338-3106 or JC Considine 781-338-3112

2009 School and District Results Show Schools Statewide Made MCAS Gains

Brockton High School Recognized for Continued Improved Performance

BROCKTON - State education officials released the 2009 school and district MCAS results at Brockton High School on Wednesday, congratulating students on performance so strong that the school made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) in the aggregate and for all subgroups in both English and Math.

In addition to the MCAS results, Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester announced that 54 percent of the state's schools have been identified for improvement, corrective action or restructuring under the federal accountability system, up from 50 percent in 2008. But while the number of schools and districts identified went up, Commissioner Chester hailed the MCAS achievements at schools across the Commonwealth as evidence that many of the schools that have been identified under the No Child Left Behind Act are achieving at high levels. Brockton High School is currently in restructuring, the most severe category, but because of its stellar 2009 student performance, the school is now one year away from being removed from accountability status entirely.

"I take every school's accountability status seriously, but I also recognize that many of the schools across the Commonwealth that have been identified are making tremendous academic gains," Chester said. "While the teachers and students in these schools need to recognize that there is still more work to do, they should be extremely proud of their accomplishments."

AYP measures district and school progress toward annual performance targets in English Language Arts (ELA) and Math. Those that fail to meet their AYP targets in ELA and Math in the aggregate or for any of their subgroups for two or more consecutive years receive an accountability status and are required to take steps to focus efforts on improving student performance. Alternately, schools and districts are removed from the list when they make their targets for two consecutive years.

Statewide, 109 districts (28 percent) and 937 schools (54 percent) are on the state's 2009 list of schools and districts in need of improvement because they did not make AYP for more than one year. Those 109 districts include 29 charter schools, 8 vocational technical schools, and 17 other single-school districts. The 937 schools are located in 266 (69 percent) of the Commonwealth's school districts. In 2008, a total of 828 schools (50 percent) and 89 districts (23 percent) were identified. The 89 districts included 26 charter schools, 6 vocational technical schools, and 11 other single-school districts.

At BHS, students improved on all three grade 10 tests: the percent of students scoring Proficient or higher rose to 78 percent in ELA, up 4 points from 2008; 60 percent in Math, up 6 points; and 54 percent in STE, up 10 points. These gains are particularly striking when compared to 1998, when 22 percent of 10th graders scored Proficient or higher in ELA, and just 7 percent did so in math. The school is currently listed as being in its first year of restructuring for subgroup performance in ELA, and in its second year of restructuring for subgroup performance in math.

"I am extremely proud of the progress our students have made and continue to make," said Brockton high School Principal Susan Szachowicz. "Despite challenging demographics in a very large, urban high school, our students set high expectations for themselves, and our teachers push all of our students to excel. Our unofficial school motto has been high expectations, NO excuses, and our students continue to demonstrate that."

Brockton Superintendent Matthew Malone agreed.

"Brockton High School is the perfect example of how high expectations, high standards and consistent implementation propel all students to achieve increased student performance results," he said. "Overall, the Brockton Public Schools continues to exceed expectations and as a system, we will continue to focus on educating all students in a rigorous, caring, and supportive learning environment."

BHS is one of eight high schools statewide with a 60 percent or higher low income population in which 50 percent or more students have scored Proficient or higher in all three subjects. The other schools are the Boston Preparatory Charter Public School, MATCH Charter Public High School, University Park Campus School, City on a Hill Charter Public School, Fenway High School, Revere High School and Codman Academy Charter Public School.

Statewide, six high schools – Acton-Boxborough Regional High School, Boston Latin, Boston Preparatory Charter Public School, Dover-Sherborn Regional High School, MATCH Charter Public High School and Westborough High School – had more than 95 percent of their students score Proficient or higher in ELA, Math and Science, Technology/Engineering. There are 56 schools that have met the NCLB goal of having all students score Proficient or higher in ELA and math.

According to statewide AYP results, four districts exited their accountability status entirely, after making AYP for two consecutive years: Dighton-Rehoboth, Community Day Charter School, Greater Lowell Voc Tech, and Southeastern Regional Voc Tech. At the same time, 10 multi-school districts were newly identified for the first time: Acushnet, Beverly, Billerica, Cambridge, Dartmouth, Dedham, Hudson, Quincy, West Springfield, and Whitman-Hanson.

Statewide, 21 schools previously identified for improvement, corrective action, or restructuring were removed after two consecutive years of improvement in the identified subject areas. Among them are three schools that were removed from restructuring and two schools that were removed from corrective action.

Under Commissioner Chester's leadership, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has undertaken a complete redesign of the framework for school and district accountability and assistance. The proposed framework aligns the Department's systems of support and intervention with accountability requirements and priorities, and will tie more closely the Department's assistance and degree of intervention to the severity and duration of identified problems. The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education will vote on proposed regulations to reflect changes in the state's accountability and assistance system at its September 22, 2009 regular meeting.

  View HTML PageMCAS Statewide Report
  View HTML PageAYP Statewide Report
Commissioner Chester's Presentation

Last Updated: September 16, 2009

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