Southborough schools’ MCAS results worth bragging about

by beth on November 15, 2019

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Above: Southborough grades 3-8 performed well on the most recent MCAS tests, especially in math. (from presentation)

This week, the School Committee was presented findings on the latest MCAS results. They were quite pleased with what they learned. 

Superintendent Greg Martineau told the committee that the Southborough district as a whole (grades 3-8) ranked #3 based on their “aggregate” score. Looking at the state’s posted results, he seemed to be referring to the combined high percent of M&E (Exceeding & Meeting Expectation) scorers for Math and ELA.

Each school had something they could boast about:

  • Woodward’s 3rd graders were the top performers in the state based on their combined scores for both tested subjects – ELA (English Language Arts) and Math.
  • Neary School was recognized as “a School of Recognition” based on outstanding performance.
  • Trottier’s scores showed significant improvement over last year.
  • All three schools were successful in achieving both High Growth and High Achievement. 

Using the M&E% metric, Southborough ranked:

#2 for Math
#9 for English
#9 for Science
#4 for all 3 subjects*

We well outranked all nearby neighbors except for in English where Hopkinton ranked #6.

Answering what was behind Trottier’s improvements, Principal Kieth Lavoie and Vice Principal Gary Hreschuk explained that with more info from the state they have been better able to flag and support students that need extra support. They also indicated that the school now embraces teaching to the test. They confirmed for the committee that they still teach beyond the test with a number of other important metrics.

For those that may worry about too much focus on test performance, the presentation also explained that the “Next Generation” MCAS moved away from testing kids’ memorization of facts. It now emphasizes higher order thinking – understanding, applying, analyzing, evaluating, and creating.

Administrators were pleased that students would be well positioned to succeed when they move on to Algonquin.

The presentation to the K-8 committee, didn’t touch on Algonquin’s results. Looking at the state’s website, it appears the school ranked #5 for Math, and #13 for ELA. 

As for our partner district, Northborough K-8, their rankings appear much lower: #73 in math, #89 in ELA, and #48 in science.

You can take a look at some highlights from the district’s presentation below or read the whole presentation here. You can also view the discussion courtesy of Southborough Access Media here. And you can look at the state’s reporting here.

2019 MCAS ELA results compared to state 2019 MCAS ELA year to year 2019 MCAS Math results compared to state 2019 MCAS Math results year to year

*That ranking is once I eliminated districts that didn’t take the science test.

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