MCAS results show improvement in every school, category

Marblehead’s MCAS results improved in every school and every category from 2022 to 2023, with the largest growth in high school math.

“The initial results indicate that the post-pandemic academic slide has ended, and academic recovery is fully underway,” Julia Ferreira, the new assistant superintendent for learning, told the Current. Most results are still below pre-COVID levels, however. (See charts below.)

‘… academic recovery is fully underway.’CURRENT PHOTO / LEIGH BLANDER

“One particular result to highlight is Marblehead High School, which demonstrated double-digit percentage growth in their proficiency ratings on both ELA (English Language Arts) and math MCAS assessments,” Ferreira said.

“We believe our academic growth is connected to the district-wide initiatives we have implemented and the dedication of our staff to ensuring student success,” she added.

Reaction coming in

“This is a great indication that we have really hard-working teachers who are helping our kids get back to pre-pandemic learning levels,” said MHS Parent Council Organization Co-Chair Dr. Melissa Kaplowitch. “It’s through the initiatives that were put in place by our former superintendent [Dr. John Buckey] and assistant superintendent [Nan Murphy]. It speaks to the vision we had in place here in Marblehead to reach students who are at most risk.”

Reece Dahlberg, parent-teacher organization president at the Village School, was also encouraged by the numbers.

“This is a testament to the Marblehead Public Schools, to the educators,” she said. “I hope the new administration, whatever it looks like, keeps an upward trajectory.”

School Committee Chair Sarah Fox was more reserved.

“It is important for the raw data to be interpreted and presented by Ms. Ferriera and our educators, the subject-matter experts, as there is a lot that goes into the analysis of these results which guide our educators on next steps,” she said.

Sarah Magazine, who was recently appointed to the screening committee for the interim superintendent, said, “I am pleased to hear that there is year-over-year improvement in our numbers from 2022 to 2023. I’m sure the school department will do a deep dive into the numbers and help parents to better understand what this means for our progress overall.”

Here’s a look at school-by-school results:

ELA: Meets or exceeds expectations2023Percentage point change over 2022Percentage point change over 2019 (pre-COVID)
MHS81%+13 +1
Veterans65%+1 -2
Village57%+7 -7
Glover63%+9 -10
Math: Meets or exceeds expectations2023Percentage point change over 2022Percentage point change over 2019 (pre-COVID)
MHS78%+19 -1
Science: Meets or exceeds expectations2023Percentage point change over 2022Percentage point change over 2019
Grades 5-855%+4-6
Grade 1077%+8N/A

Statewide, MCAS results increased an average of 2 percentage points in math (to 39% “meets or exceeds expectations” in grades 3-8 and 50% in 10th grade ) and one percentage point in ELA (to 42% “meets or exceeds expectations” in grades 3-8 and 58% in 10th grade).

The Department of Early and Secondary Education also released district accountability ratings for the first time since the pandemic. The accountability ratings look at areas including achievement, student growth, graduation rates, chronic absenteeism and more. Marblehead scored “meeting or exceeding targets.”

“We are grateful for the tremendous support and effort of our school leaders, teachers and staff who work very hard to support our students in achieving academic success,” Ferreira said.

At the Marblehead Community Charter Public School, the picture wasn’t quite as positive.

Charter grades 4-8
Meets or exceeds expectations
2023Percentage point change over 2022Percentage point change over 2019 (pre-COVID)
Math 35%-1 percentage point-8 percentage points
ELA51%+2 percentage points-2 percentage points
Science grades 5 & 852%+2 percentage points-7 percentage points

For more information and a closer look at Marblehead’s MCAS results, click HERE.

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Leigh Blander is an experienced TV, radio and print journalist who has written hundreds of stories for local newspapers, including the Marblehead Reporter. She also works as a PR specialist.

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