The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released both the MCAS and preliminary PARCC results yesterday. According to the MCAS scores, increases were seen in the percentage of students who scored ‘proficient’ or higher in almost every grade and subject. Results also demonstrated the narrowing of achievement gaps between white students and students of color, in both math and ELA.
The partial PARCC results painted a different picture, demonstrating a lower percentage of students achieving the ‘meeting expectations’ range. These results are to be expected and provide more valuable and actionable data to drive student achievement, when compared to the MCAS. Jason Williams, Executive Director of Stand for Children Massachusetts was quoted in the State House News saying,
“there is an ‘honesty gap’ between MCAS outcomes and college preparation; despite that 88% of 10th graders scored ‘needs improvement’ or higher, achieving at least the minimum test score to graduate from a Commonwealth high school, 36% of Massachusetts public high school graduates attending public universities and 65% of grads at community colleges require remedial courses.”
The PARCC test focuses on critical thinking, and better assesses 21st century skills that students need to be successful in college and career. The assessment gives parents and teachers a better portrait of their child’s strengths and areas for improvement.
PARCC has been in a two-year pilot phase in some districts, while the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education determines the future of standardized assessment in the Commonwealth. The Board is expected to make a final decision on whether or not to adopt PARCC in November.
To learn more about the MCAS results visit http://www.doe.mass.edu/mcas/results.html.