The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

2017 District and School Accountability Determinations

Members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
Jeff Wulfson, Acting Commissioner
October 13, 2017

At the special meeting of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education on October 23, I will provide you an overview of 2017 district and school accountability determinations, including decisions made for certain Level 4 (underperforming) schools. These determinations, which we plan to release during the week of October 16, are based in part on the 2017 legacy and next-generation MCAS results for districts and schools.


The Massachusetts accountability system classifies each district and school into one of five levels, with schools making sufficient progress toward narrowing proficiency gaps classified into Level 1 and the lowest performing schools classified into Levels 4 and 5. Anticipating the shift to the next-generation MCAS, the Board voted in November 2015 that districts and schools administering the next-generation MCAS assessment in grades 3-8 in spring 2017 would not have their accountability results negatively impacted based on those test scores. That decision is reflected in the amended regulation1 that the Board adopted at its April 2017 meeting, which allows the Department to limit the use of Levels 1-3 this fall for any school that enrolls students in grades 3-8, so long as the school has a participation rate of at least 90 percent in the administration of the spring 2017 MCAS tests and does not have a persistently low graduation rate.

2017 Assessment and Accountability Reporting

Schools enrolling students in grades 3-8 will not be placed in Levels 1-3 of the framework for district accountability and assistance for the 2017-18 school year, provided that the school maintained at least 90 percent participation for each student group in each subject on the spring 2017 assessments and, if the school goes through grade 12, the school did not have persistently low graduation rates for one or more student groups. Elementary and middle schools with a participation rate below 90 percent will be placed in Level 3. Current Level 4 and 5 schools will retain their level designation unless they are exited from that status by the Commissioner. There will be no new Level 4 or 5 designations at the elementary and middle school levels. Assessment results for each school still will be reported publicly. The 2017 next-generation MCAS results for grades 3-8 will serve as the baseline for future accountability reporting.

At the high school level, the legacy MCAS tests were administered in 2017, and assessment and accountability results will be reported as in the past. High schools serving only grades 9-12 will continue to be placed into an accountability and assistance level based on their Progress and Performance Index (PPI) and school percentile data, with adjustments for those schools with persistently low graduation rates, or low or very low assessment participation.

Associate Commissioner Robert Curtin will join me in presenting the 2017 district and school accountability determinations.


Download PowerPoint File
Accountability Reporting Update on Overall District & School Accountability Determinations