MCAS scores are out

Remember all the fun we had last year picking over the MCAS scores for Grafton?

They’re out again. Here’s my story. And here is the link to the scores themselves.

Analyze away; I’m kind of cross-eyed at the moment. I’d say the most interesting slip in scores is in 10th grade.

Last year was my daughter’s first MCAS year, so I’m especially interested to see how she fared. Her reaction to the tests was similar to her brother’s at the same age — she was pretty confident, but a little frustrated that they took so long and took up time that could have easily been used for something more interesting.

Also, I had every intention of multiple posts earlier this week but I’m having second thoughts on something that was partially written yesterday. But I have a video — the first Greater Grafton exclusive! — that should amuse the regulars…


6 thoughts on “MCAS scores are out

  1. OK Jenn…I’m on the edge of my seat. I consider myself a regular, so I’m already amused. Do you enjoy teasing us? I’ve read your lasagna post so many times this week I can taste it.

    BTW: As far as the MCAS is concerned…my son is in a private school (Catholic) and doesn’t have to deal with MCAS. He’s being taught what he needs to learn…not what’s on the test. Just an opinion from one of your regulars. 🙂

  2. I have lots of objections when it comes to this type of testing, but I do think there is some value in showing trends. And after looking at the data…things look pretty stagnant. By just eyeballing it, it seems like Grafton ranks about 1/3 for the state. I wonder if the Dr. C has some sort of MCAS goals…I’d love to hear it. Being in the 1/3 isn’t exactly justification to be to inspired, but it seems adequate.

    Going a little deeper, I looked at the 2007, 2008, and 2009 data and grouped the 4 standard DOE (A/P, PRO, NI, and W/F) into two categories “Fine” – A/P, PRO and then “Not Fine” – NI, W/F. I thought it would be interesting to see the trends since 2007 (rather than just comparing to 2008), and it looks like things…again, are pretty stagnant.

    Grade 4 stood out to me…in 2007 we had 69% that were fine, and now its down to 59%. That’s a rather unpleasant drop of 10%.
    Grade 8 also stood out for me, ELA, Math, and Science all have jumped pretty significantly since 2007 (though Science dropped in comparison to 2008).

    Data, data, data…

  3. I do know Dr. Connors is supposed to set his goals at the next School Committee meeting (insert rant about the length of Monday’s meeting, which required the SC to jettison a good portion of their budget because it was 10:45 and they were only 1/3 of the way into the items set for 7:30. There has to be a way to streamline School Committee meetings — the members probably enjoy the time commitment even less than I do) and MCAS may be reflected in them.

    With data stories, I know all people care about are actually seeing the numbers and analyzing them for themselves anyway, so I took this year and last year and linked to the prior years if anyone wanted to look a little deeper. I would bet someone more experienced with numbers could find more interesting tidbits — which reminds me, I really should take a look at how well Special Education students are doing. It seems ridiculous that someone like my brother-in-law would actually be required to take MCAS with today’s standards.

  4. As a former teacher, I always appreciated getting hard data that helped me asses student performance. I was always intrigued at how the pleasant, smiling, happy student showed academic weaknesses. Would I have caught these without hard data? Maybe, maybe not. And therein lies the value of this data: teachers can examine individual student performance and begin tailoring their classroom instruction.

    As a hiring manager in a high-tech company, I value concrete information that I can use to complete the picture.

    And now a challenge for parents: take a look at the kind of information that is assessed via MCAS. Objectives, topics, and samples are available on the MCAS web site. The exams are NOT trivial!

  5. OMG, I hate the MCAS. IDK why they administer this test. I had to LOL when I tried to read these test scores. I need Wikipedia. What are all those letters?

    On a serious note, when do they get their individual scores?

  6. It should be in a couple of weeks. I kind of remember the pattern as the state releases overall MCAS data, then town-by-town two weeks later, then individual two weeks after that.

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