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RECENT MCAS AND ACCOUNTABILITY SCORES SHOW RECOVERY IS UNDERWAY AT BOSTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS
BOSTON -- Tuesday, September 19, 2023 -- The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education today released the 2023 accountability results for schools and districts across the state, as well as the SY 2022-2023 Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) data. Boston's data showed that performance is beginning to rise after the decline due to the pandemic.
In the state's accountability system, the district was deemed to be making Substantial Progress Toward Targets and was not identified as requiring assistance or intervention. The district exceeded targets for reducing chronic absenteeism in all grade levels and demonstrated typical growth (Student Growth Percentile between 40 and 60) in ELA and Math in all grade levels. Results in achievement data for grades 3-8 indicated small improvements or no change in ELA, math, and science, and the lowest-performing 25 percent of students exceeded the target for math achievement.
"Every year, MCAS and accountability data is a reminder of the work that needs to be done," said Superintendent Mary Skipper. "These data are great points of reference to gauge what we as a District need to do to better serve our students. We will treat this as an opportunity to grow and work even harder to ensure that we are meeting the needs of all students in our district. BPS has worked this year to create strong systems to support our academic work and vision. This school year is the year that we will see these new systems begin to bear results as they gain more traction. We have to keep our focus on closing not only the gaps created by the pandemic but also the persistent gaps for our most marginalized students: our black and brown, special education, economically disadvantaged, and English Language Learning students."
Across the district, 57 schools were identified as not requiring assistance or intervention. Four schools were named Schools of Recognition: Joseph P. Tynan Elementary School in South Boston; the Oliver Hazard Perry School in South Boston; the John F. Kennedy School in Jamaica Plain; and the Joseph P. Manning School in Jamaica Plain. Schools of recognition are identified by DESE as schools that met or exceeded their targets and also had both high achievement and high growth.
"We recognize that strong standards-aligned instruction has supported positive MCAS performance for learners at the Tynan," said Leslie Gant, principal at the Joseph P. Tynan Elementary School. "While we acknowledge room for growth we are pleased that we met and/or exceeded state targets. Our goal is to continue to work in concert with our families to continue our growth!"
The MCAS data show improved math performance for the lowest-performing student group. In 2023, the average math scaled score increased by 0.5 points for all students and 5.9 points for the lowest-performing student group.
While the average scaled score in ELA declined slightly by 0.5 points, the student growth percentile (SGP) in ELA was 49.2, indicating typical growth. Similar to the math results, students in grades 4, 5, and 6 showed stronger performance and growth in ELA compared to other grade levels. Despite strong performance and growth seen in the math and ELA scores, the results also show that there are key areas in need of improvement.
Mirroring the state’s strong performance for grade levels 4 and 5, Boston saw equally strong performance in ELA and Math for grade levels 4, 5, and 6. In ELA, the percentage of students meeting or exceeding expectations increased by 2 percentage points in grade 4, 4 points in grade 5, and 1 point in grade 6. In math, those increases were 2 points in grades 4, 4 points in grade 5, and 2 points in grade 6. These increases pushed the 3-8 average to near the 2022 average in ELA and exceeded the 2022 average in Math.
"MCAS results are one important way to measure how we are supporting our students, families, and schools," said Boston School Committee Chairperson Jeri Robinson. "I am glad to see some progress in key areas and among key groups of students, but this is a reminder of the hard work that is before us. I am hopeful this data will help drive our decision-making going forward to better match needs and resources across the district."
For more information, please visit https://www.doe.mass.edu/mcas/