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For Immediate Release
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Contact:Heidi Guarino 781-338-3106 or JC Considine 781-338-3112

New Growth Model Offers Most Complete Picture of Student Performance to Date

Model highlights high growth in schools and districts

MALDEN - Dozens of both low- and high-achieving schools have been identified by the state's new growth model as being "on the move" because of their students' improvement on the state's assessment test. According to the report released Tuesday, these students are experiencing "high growth," which means that they are improving at rates that are equal to or even greater than that of their peers statewide.

According to the growth model results, "high growth" is defined as growth in a subject at or above the 60th percentile, typical growth is between the 40th and 60th percentile, and low growth is below the 40th percentile. In 2009, statewide results showed that students at 21 percent of schools made relatively high growth in ELA and students at 23 percent of schools made relatively high growth in mathematics.

This year's growth report includes results for student in grades 4-8 and grade 10 in English language arts and mathematics. The data is calculated using historical MCAS results going back at least two years.

"Never before have we provided as complete a picture to evaluate student performance. By examining achievement and growth over time we have a more robust profile of school effectiveness than once-a-year MCAS scores alone provide," said Education Commissioner Mitchell D. Chester. "This powerful tool will allow our educators to learn more about which approaches to support students are working best to help improve long-term achievement."

This is the first time Massachusetts has used a growth model to evaluate student performance. The results measure individual student progress on the state's assessment test by tracking the scores from one year to the next. Whereas basic test results reflect how a student performed on a particular assessment, growth reports detail how much a student's performance has changed from one year to the next.

In 2009, students at 63 percent of schools made typical growth and at 17 percent of schools made relatively low growth in ELA; students at 59 percent of schools made typical growth, and at 17 percent made relatively low growth in math.

According to district results, students at 10 percent of districts statewide made relatively high growth, at 79 percent made typical growth, and at 11 percent made relatively low growth in ELA; students at 7 percent made relatively high growth, at 78 percent made typical growth, and at 15 percent made relatively low growth in math.

Growth data alone does not create a full picture of school, district or student performance; the reports are meant to be used in conjunction with MCAS achievement level results.

"These results will serve as a wake up call to some of our higher performing districts where student achievement gains are relatively low," Chester said. "At the same time, these numbers highlight some schools with low proficiency rates where students make strong year-to-year gains. The growth measure, along with MCAS proficiency rates, allows us to evaluate school and district performance more clearly than ever before."

Growth for individual students is measured by comparing the change in his or her MCAS performance from one year to the next to that of their "academic peers," other students in the state with a similar MCAS performance history. This so-called "student growth percentile" (SGP) indicates how much a student's performance changed from year to year as compared to their academic peers.

School or district growth reports are developed by aggregating the SGP for all students in the school or district to determine the median student growth percentile. Results are calculated only for students in grades 4-8 who have two or more consecutive years of MCAS results, and students in grade 10 who have MCAS test results for grade 8.

Other statewide findings include:

  • The typical female student (growth between the 53rd and 55th percentiles) is growing more than the typical male student (44th to 47th percentile) in ELA at grades 4, 5, 6, and 7. The growth of female and male students in mathematics was similar at all grades.
  • Formerly limited English proficient (FLEP) students are growing in ELA between the 50th and 59th percentiles on average across all grades. In math, FLEP students are growing between the 50th and 56th percentiles at grades 5, 6, 7, 8 and 10.
  • Asian students are growing at the 58th to 62nd percentiles across all grades in both ELA and mathematics.

School and district growth model results and additional details are posted at www.doe.mass.edu/mcas/growth.

Selected Growth Model Findings

SCHOOLS

Low Achievement and High Growth: Schools with MCAS performance below the state average and median growth at the 60th percentile or higher in 2008 and 2009 include:

ELA

Boston: O.W. Holmes, Hugh Roe O'Donnell

Chelsea: Frank M. Sokolowski Elementary

Everett: Parlin School

Lawrence: Francis M. Leahy

Waltham: William F. Stanley Elementary

Math

Boston: Charles H. Taylor, David A. Ellis, Eliot Elementary, Joseph J. Hurley, Joseph P. Manning, Patrick J. Kennedy, Thomas J. Kenny, Mission Hill, Clarence R. Edwards Middle

Chelsea: William A. Berkowitz, Frank M. Sokolowski Elementary

Lowell: Abraham Lincoln, Dr. An Wang School

Quincy: Snug Harbor Community School

Randolph: Randolph Community Middle School

Springfield: Milton Bradley School

Worcester: Grafton Street, Lincoln Street, Vernon Hill School

Neighborhood House Charter: Neighborhood House Charter School (Boston)

High Achievement and High Growth: Schools with 95 percent of students above proficient in ELA and 85 percent above proficient in Math and median growth at the 60th percentile or higher in 2008 and 2009 include:

ELA

Excel Academy Charter: (Boston)

Lexington: Wm. Diamond Middle School

Westford: Blanchard Middle

Westwood: Deerfield School

Winchester: Vinson-Owen Elementary

Math

Arlington: M. Norcross Stratton, Brackett

Belmont: Winn Brook

Brookline: Heath

Excel Academy Charter: Excel Academy Charter School (Boston)

Franklin: J F Kennedy Memorial

Harvard: Bromfield

Lexington: Joseph Estabrook, Bridge, Wm. Diamond Middle

Manchester Essex Regional: Manchester Essex Regional High School

Mendon-Upton: Nipmuc Regional High

Newton: John Ward, Mason-Rice

Shrewsbury: Walter J. Paton

Sudbury: Israel Loring School, Peter Noyes

Winchester: Vinson-Owen Elementary, Lincoln Elementary

Low Income Groups and High Growth: Low income groups in schools that had median growth at the 70th percentile or higher in 2008 and 2009 include:

ELA

Boston: Hugh Roe O'Donnell

Community Day Charter: Community Day Charter Public School (Lawrence)

Edward Brooke Charter: Edward Brooke Charter School (Boston)

Excel Academy Charter: Excel Academy Charter School (Boston)

Quincy: Atlantic Middle

Roxbury Preparatory Charter: Roxbury Preparatory Charter School (Boston)

Math

Boston: Hugh Roe O'Donnell, Patrick J. Kennedy

Chelsea: Frank M. Sokolowski Elementary

Community Day Charter: Community Day Charter Public School (Lawrence)

Edward Brooke Charter: Edward Brooke Charter School (Boston)

Excel Academy Charter: Excel Academy Charter School (Boston)

KIPP Academy Lynn: KIPP Academy Lynn Charter School (Lynn)

Lowell: Moody Elementary

Neighborhood House Charter: Neighborhood House Charter School (Boston)

Revere: Beachmont Veterans Memorial School

Roxbury Preparatory Charter: Roxbury Preparatory Charter School

Worcester: Clark St. Community, May Street

DISTRICTS

Low Achievement and High Growth: Districts with MCAS performance below the state average and median growth at the 60th percentile or higher in 2008 and 2009 include:

ELA:Worcester Public Schools

Math:Neighborhood House Charter School (Boston)

High Achievement and High Growth: Districts with 95% above proficient in ELA and 85% above proficient in Math and median growth at the 60th percentile or higher in 2008 and 2009 include:

ELA:Excel Academy Charter School (Boston)

Math:Excel Academy Charter (Boston), Lexington Public Schools

Low Income Groups and High Growth: Low income groups in districts that had median growth at the 60th percentile or higher in 2008 and 2009 include:

ELA:Westborough Public Schools

Math:Brewster Public Schools, Sturbridge Public Schools

Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD DocumentInterpretive Guide
Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD DocumentState Report



Last Updated: October 27, 2009
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