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For Immediate Release
Wednesday, December 8, 1999
Contact:Darrell S. Pressley

School And District 1999 MCAS Scores Released

Charlestown - Commissioner of Education David P. Driscoll today released the school-by-school results of the 1999 MCAS tests at a press conference at the Clarence R. Edwards Middle School in Charlestown.

Three schools were highlighted that showed extraordinary improvement from the first administration of the MCAS in 1998, to the second administration of the test in the spring of 1999. The three schools are: the Edwards; the Mather Elementary School in Dorchester; and Swampscott High School.

Joining Commissioner Driscoll in remarks were: Board of Education Chairman James A. Peyser; Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino; Boston Superintendent Thomas Payzant; Edwards Middle School Principal Charles McAfee; Mather Elementary School Principal Kim Marshall; and Swampscott High School Principal Peter Sack.

"If you have a school with a principal and teachers that believe in you, and you apply yourself and meet them half way, this is what can happen," Driscoll told the assembly of 200 of the Edwards School's eighth graders.

The Edwards School faces several demographic challenges with an 88 percent poverty rate, compared to 72 percent in Boston and 25 percent in Massachusetts.

The percentage of students at the Edwards School who scored Advanced or Proficient in English Language Arts increased from eight percent in 1998 to 28 percent in 1999; from two percent in Mathematics to 12 percent in 1999; and from three percent to six percent in Science and Technology.

Similarly, the percentage who scored in the Failing category dropped from 46 percent in English Language Arts in 1998 to 23 percent in 1999; from 85 percent in Mathematics last year to 57 percent; and from 86 percent in Science and Technology to 67 percent.

Board of Education Chairman, James A. Peyser said, "MCAS is about two inseparable things: accountability and improvement. For the first time, we are developing the capability to measure the performance of our schools over time."

Average scaled scores at Mather Elementary in Dorchester improved in all subjects from the Failing category to the Needs Improvement category, from 218 in English Language Arts last year to 224 in 1999; and both Mathematics and Science and Technology scores jumped from 216 in 1998 to 227 in 1999.

The average scaled scores for Swampscott High School improved in English Language Arts from 231 to 241; Mathematics improved from 224 to 240; and Science and Technology rose from 228 to 237.

MCAS scores range from 200 to 280 and cover four performance levels: Advanced, with a score range of 260-280; Proficient, with scores between 240-259; Needs Improvement, with scores between 220-239; and Failing, with scores ranging between 200-219.

For more information on the 1999 MCAS school and district results visit the Department of Education Website.

Last Updated: December 8, 1999
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