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For Immediate Release
Wednesday, March 22, 2000
Contact:Darrell S. Pressley, 781-338-3126

Commissioner Of Education Congratulates 1,200 Students With Perfect Scores On The 1999 MCAS

Malden - Massachusetts Commissioner of Education David P. Driscoll sent personal letters today to more than 1,200 fourth-, eighth-, and tenth-grade students from across the state who earned the highest possible scaled score on the 1999 MCAS in Mathematics, Science, History and/or English.

The districts with the most students with the highest possible scaled scores are: Newton, with 60 students, followed by Acton Boxborough with 38, Andover with 36, and Boston and Brookline, both with 25. These students all scored at the highest level on the 10th-grade Mathematics test.

The fourth-, eighth-, and 10th-grade students, representing 201 districts, had scores that placed them in the top one percent of students who took the statewide test. With scores ranging from 268 to 280, some of the students may or may not know their scores were the highest possible.

In his letter to the individual students, Commissioner Driscoll said, "After carefully reviewing the student results of the 1999 MCAS tests, I recently learned that you were one of the top one percent of students who obtained the highest possible scaled score on the 1999 MCAS test. I wish to commend you for your outstanding performance."

"I know that the MCAS tests are challenging, requiring students to demonstrate their mastery of knowledge and skills in a number of subject areas. Your performance indicates that you are a serious student who welcomed that challenge. I wish you continued success during the remainder of your school years and beyond," he added.

In addition to the personal letters that were sent to the 1,200 students, Commissioner Driscoll met with a group of students Tuesday and had an open discussion on the MCAS test.

"I met with a group of about 50 high school students at the Student Advisory Council meeting in Malden to talk about MCAS. Most of the students said they support the exams and understand that statewide standards will improve education for all students. About 15 of the students said they were planning to boycott this year's tests to show their displeasure with the program. I told them that I respect their opinion but I believe boycotting the test is not accepting their responsibility and that there are better, legal ways to make their views known, such as talking with their state legislators. A number of students at the meeting agreed that boycotting is not the proper way to facilitate change in the system."

The scaled scores on the MCAS generally range from 200 to 280. Because the highest possible scaled score may vary slightly from year to year because of the conversion of the raw points to scaled scores, the highest scores were as follows: Grade Four Mathematics and Science (280), English Language Arts (270); Grade-Eight Mathematics (274), Science and History (280), and English Language Arts (268); and Grade Ten Mathematics, Science and English Language Arts, (280).

For more information visit the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System website.

Last Updated: March 22, 2000
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