As part of the state's two-year tryout of PARCC, Massachusetts school districts chose whether to give PARCC or MCAS in spring 2015, with the exception of the 10th grade MCAS, which remains a graduation requirement through at least the class of 2019 and was administered in all high schools. High school PARCC assessments were purely optional, and the results of those are not representative of the state as whole.
The statewide PARCC results showed that in most grades and subjects, students who took PARCC math and English language arts tests were less likely to score in the Meeting Expectations range than MCAS students were to score Proficient or above. The exception was in grade 4, where the percent of students who scored Meeting Expectations on PARCC and the percent scoring Proficient or above on MCAS were the same for math, and in English language arts, a higher percentage of fourth graders scored Meeting Expectations on PARCC than scored Proficient or above on MCAS.
Statewide, 777 schools gave PARCC in grades 3-8, and school-level results ranged from having very few students score in the Meeting Expectations range to having almost all students score in that range. Seventy-six schools had 80 percent or more of their students score in the Meeting Expectations range, and 31 schools did so in math. Among urban districts, Leominster stood out for having the highest percentage of students in grades 3-8 score in the Meeting Expectations range: 60 percent in English language arts and 53 percent in math.
"The results we're releasing today give schools and districts a close look at their first experience with a next-generation assessment," said Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell D. Chester. "I'd like to thank all of the districts who used PARCC this year, particularly those who made the leap to taking the test on a computer."
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education is expected to vote on November 17 on what form future statewide assessments should take.
"These results help show schools and communities how students fared against a new measurement," said Education Secretary James A. Peyser. "I am glad to have these results in hand as the Board contemplates different options for statewide assessments."
The results are available on ESE's website in two ways: by going to a school or district profile in Profiles, clicking on the "Assessment" tab, and choosing, from the left hand column, either "PARCC Percent of Students at Each Achievement Level" or, in the blue box on the left, "School/District PARCC Results." The first calls up a box similar to the format of MCAS results, while the second brings up Excel workbooks.
The Excel workbooks contain information that was not available for MCAS, such as separate reading and writing scaled scores for schools and districts.
Families in districts that used PARCC in spring 2015 will receive their child's scores late this month or in early December. Accountability results for schools and districts will be released statewide in December.
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