EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

September 27, 2013

Making strides on MCAS

By Paul Tennant
ptennant@eagletribune.com

---- — NORTH ANDOVER — More North Andover students are in the proficient or advanced categories this year than last year, according to the latest MCAS results.

Assistant Superintendent Gregg Gilligan told the School Committee last night that students made progress throughout the school system.

Overall, the percentage of students who rated proficient or advanced in English jumped from 79 percent last year to 80 percent this year, Gilligan said. In math, 73 percent scored in the proficient and advanced ranges this year, compared to 67 percent in 2012.

In the cumulative performance index, which measures the degree of students’ improvement over the previous year, the district’s score climbed from 91.9 percent to 92 percent in English and 85.7 percent to 88.1 percent in math, he said.

Two elementary schools showed marked improvement in math. At Atkinson Elementary School, 86.3 percent of students scored in the proficient or advanced categories this year, compared to 78.8 percent last year.

Franklin School saw its percentage of students in the “passing” categories rise from 89.4 percent to 94.8 percent.

“What caused that?” School Committee member Brian Gross asked. Gilligan said teachers’ greater use of collaborative time, when they discuss with each other what instructional methods are effective, may be a factor in the improvement.

“This is the most progress I’ve ever seen,” School Committee Chairman Stanley Limpert said.

“We want to see continuous improvement every year,” Gilligan said.

The complete MCAS results will be posted on the town website, www.townofnorthandover.com, by today, he said.

Students in grades three, four, five, six, seven, eight and 10 took the English and math MCAS tests last spring. Students in grades five, eight and nine took the science exam.

North Andover schools performed as follows, with the 2013 percentage of students scoring in the proficient and advanced categories listed first and the 2012 percentage in parentheses:

ENGLISH

Atkinson: 82.6 (83.5)

Franklin: 93.8 (92.9)

Kittredge: 94.1 (92)

Sargent: 89.3 (88.1)

Thomson: 84.5 (89.2)

Middle school: 94.8 (94.3)

High School: 98.6 (99)

MATH

Atkinson: 86.3 (78.8)

Frankliln: 94.8 (89.4)

Kittredge: 92 (89.6)

Sargent: 87.3 (84.6)

Thomson: 85.5 (86.3)

Middle school: 87.1 (85.6)

High school: 92.3 (93.7)

SCIENCE

Atkinson: 62.7 (76.2)

Franklin: 93.2 (88.9)

Kittredge: 82.8 (89.3)

Sargent: 90.3 (80.2)

Thomson: 75.5 (79.1)

Middle school: 76.5 (76.6)

High school: 96.4 (95.2)