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Mansfield School Committee Dissects MCAS Scores

Mansfield scores consistently highly than the state.

The Mansfield School Committee met on Tuesday to go over and explain the

Overall, Mansfield did very well, outperforming the state in proficient or better ratings in every subject and grade. and Jordan/Jackson also met their adequate yearly progress goals for 2011, of which only 81- percent of schools in the state met.

“In all reality, it’s all relative,” said chair of the mathematics department Christine Kalinowski. “You want to compare [the scores] to something and in this case we compare it to the state average.”

Adequate yearly progress is the state’s progress meter for all schools to become 100-percent proficient in math and English language arts by 2014.

Mansfield also had the largest single-year gain in grade 4 mathematics, nine-percent points, in the history of Mansfield participating in the MCAS tests.

When comparing to the state, Mansfield does consistently better in most areas, but when compared to their scores during the last four years, the story becomes a little more clouded. Mansfield’s scores dipped in many cases in the 2008-2010 school years.

“We have to be cognizant of what was gong on in the economy in general,” Kalinowski said. “This is when we started to see a lot of our budget cutes. You’ll notice a dip. We had to cut some big money from our budget (in 2008) and we cut a lot from Qualters. Because of the teaming at Qualters, when you cut, you cut a lot. We knew this year that we had to make some repairs for what we had done.”

Qualters Middle School had some deep cuts, and lost a number of teachers and the scores in many grades and subjects reflect that. Principal Zeffro Gianetti said that this year there should be some marked improvement as the school was able to hire 6.2 full-time equivalent teacher positions to the school.

“One thing I think we haven’t talked about with the MCAS is quality instruction,” Gianetti said. “We’ve added positions, increased the amount of time learning classes and cut the team-sizes down. We’re fortunate in our timing, in that we hired in a tough economy. I think we really hired some quality teachers. You know we talk about curriculum and everything, but it’s really instruction that makes the most significant difference.”

While the Middle School showed some problems, the high school was another story. In all three subjects, math, ELA and biology, Mansfield students scored at least nine-percent points higher than the state and improved dramatically from previous years and grades.

“I think that when the kids take the (MCAS at grade 10), they know this is their last shot and they have to pass it,” said MHS Principal Michael Connolly.

In math, 92-percent of high school students (MHS students and students in the district but not at the school) scored a proficient or better rating, which is 17 percent points higher than the state average.

In ELA, 93-percent scored proficient or better, which is 9- percent points better than the state. In biology, it was 87- percent, which is a full 20- percent points higher than the state.

For complete scores, click here.

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