Showing posts with label MCAS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label MCAS. Show all posts

Monday, October 3, 2022

"We know our kids can"

"STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT REMAINS well below where it was in 2019, indicating a steep loss in learning during the pandemic that has yet to be made up, according to statewide MCAS results released Thursday. 

“Compared to pre-pandemic we still have a way to go across all subject levels to fully recover learning losses,” said state Education Commissioner Jeff Riley. 

The 2022 MCAS results reflect the standardized tests that were taken in the spring of 2022 in grades three through eight and grade 10. In every subject – math, English, and science – the percentage of students who scored as meeting or exceeding expectations fell between 2019, the last year of full, in-person education, and 2022.  

There were some hopeful signs, with both math and science scores rebounding slightly compared to 2021, indicating that some learning recovery has begun. However, there were also areas where scores have continued to drop, including in writing and elementary school English.  "
Continue reading the article online 

Or wait until November ? when Franklin School District has had time to get it's set of numbers and do some work with them to tell us the real story.

MCAS scores show major drop since 2019
MCAS scores show major drop since 2019

Thursday, June 23, 2022

MA News Recap: Some State lawmakers object to MCAS proposal; SJC approves language for "fair share"; Votes Act signed

Mass. legislators urge state education leaders not to raise MCAS graduation requirements 
"Nearly 100 Massachusetts lawmakers sent a letter to state education leaders on Tuesday opposing raising state standardized test scores needed for students to graduate high school.

The letter highlights concerns from legislators about consequences they believe a state proposal made in April to raise the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System, or MCAS, graduation requirements could have, particularly among students who have been “disproportionately harmed by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education members said in April they want to ensure students who receive a diploma meet the state’s expectations on a new version of the MCAS test. They also want to push schools to better support those students who struggle to pass the MCAS who disproportionately are from low-income households, students of color, students with disabilities, and English language learners."
Continue reading the Boston Globe article online (subscription may be required) ->

Mass. high court rules ‘millionaires tax’ question was written ‘fairly.’ It goes before voters in November.
"The state’s highest court on Wednesday rejected a challenge from business leaders to rewrite the summary of a ballot measure that would raise taxes on the state’s wealthiest residents, handing a victory to labor unions, Democratic lawmakers, and others who’ve spent years pushing the measure to a November vote.

In an unanimous decision, the Supreme Judicial Court ruled that Attorney General Maura Healey’s office “fairly” described the thrust of the so-called millionaires tax proposal in both a summary it’s required to prepare for voters and one-sentence statements outlining what a “yes” or “no” vote would do.

The proposal, dubbed the Fair Share Amendment by its proponents, would amend the state Constitution to create a 9 percent income tax rate on annual earnings above $1 million, while retaining the broad 5 percent rate for earnings below that amount."
Continue reading the Boston Globe article online (subscription may be required) ->

Bucking party, Baker makes vote-by-mail permanent
"DESPITE CONCERNS by members of his own party, Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican, signed a law Wednesday making voting by mail permanent.  

Massachusetts allowed early voting by mail for the first time during the COVID-19 pandemic, and Democrats and voting rights activists have been pushing to make the reforms permanent in order to increase voter turnout.  

The new law will permanently allow voting by mail for any state or presidential primary or general election. It shortens the voter registration window to 10 days, although it does not allow for same-day voter registration, as some advocates had hoped.  "
Continue reading the CommonWealth Magazine article online

MA News Recap
MA News Recap

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Franklin, MA School Committee meeting - 11/23/21 - audio in two parts

FM #667-668 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 667-668 in the series. 

This session of the radio show shares the Franklin, MA School Committee meeting held on Tuesday, November 23, 2021.

The meeting was conducted in a hybrid format: the School Committee members were in the Council Chambers along with some of the public, other members of the public joined via conference bridge, all to adhere to the ‘social distancing’ requirements of this pandemic period.

The recording of the public meeting runs two hours and fifteen minutes. The School Committee enters Executive Session (for approx. 45 minutes) and returns to the public meeting for about 1 minute before closing the meeting. 

I split the meeting into two segments:


Links to the meeting agenda and associated documents released for this meeting are included in the show notes. The link to my notes taken during the meeting is also provided.

Let’s listen to this segment of the School Committee meeting Nov 23, 2021


School Committee Meeting packet folder ->…  

Meeting agenda doc ->…   

My notes captured during the meeting 


We are now producing this in collaboration with Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio ( or 102.9 on the Franklin area radio dial.  

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The music for the intro and exit was provided by Michael Clark and the group "East of Shirley". The piece is titled "Ernesto, manana"  c. Michael Clark & Tintype Tunes, 2008 and used with their permission.

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Franklin, MA School Committee meeting - 11/23/21 - audio in two parts
Franklin, MA School Committee meeting - 11/23/21 - audio in two parts

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Franklin Public Schools: MCAS Presentation - 11/23/21

Among the agenda items for the Franklin School Committee meeting Tuesday, Nov 23, 2021 is an update on the recent MCAS statistics for the Franklin School District.

You can view a copy of the report here or below:

Franklin Public Schools: MCAS Presentation - 11/23/21
Franklin Public Schools: MCAS Presentation - 11/23/21

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

MA news: Mass. board of education approves two major changes


"For the first time since the MCAS became a graduation requirement in 2003, high school juniors will be exempt from having to pass the exam to receive their diploma.

The state’s Board of Elementary and Secondary Education unanimously approved the waiver on Tuesday. State Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley said the massive academic disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic made it necessary to suspend the requirement.

If not for the pandemic, juniors would have taken their 10th grade math and English MCAS exams last year. But when the tests were canceled, it meant they would not have at least three chances to take the tests and, if needed, receive academic support before graduation."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)


"State education officials on Tuesday approved preliminary changes to the admissions process at vocational high schools aimed at giving disadvantaged students a better chance of attending.

The unanimous vote by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education came after members and advocates criticized the current criteria as unfair to students of color, low-income students, English learners, and students with disabilities, depriving them of an important career pathway.

The draft regulations, which were recommended by education Commissioner Jeff Riley, would eliminate the current requirement that vocational schools consider grades, attendance, discipline records, and recommendations from guidance counselors. Instead, the schools would be able to set their own criteria for admissions as long as those policies follow state and federal laws, lead to student demographics that are “comparable” to their communities’ school districts, don’t disproportionately deny admission to students from marginalized groups, and “promote equitable access for all students.”
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

MA State News: Unemployment insurance bill avoids issue; MCAS can't be skipped per Feds


"Unemployment insurance bill kicks the can"

"A BILL BEING CONSIDERED  by the state Legislature to freeze businesses’ unemployment insurance payments may be a short-term fix, but it does not solve the longer-term problem of how to keep the fund solvent in the future.

“This is a perfectly reasonable, short-term fix for our unemployment insurance shortfall, but it’s a missed opportunity to address the fact that we were underfunding this system well before the COVID crisis,” Evan Horowitz, executive director of the Center for State Policy Analysis at Tufts University, said after the bill was released."

Continue reading the article online
"Riley says feds won’t let Massachusetts skip MCAS"

AS SCHOOL OFFICIALS have been pressuring the state to cancel this year’s MCAS tests, state education commissioner Jeff Riley said the decision is not his – it belongs to the federal government.  

“The federal government is still requiring we test our students,” Riley said, speaking at a Tuesday budget hearing before the Ways and Means Committees. “It provides a little wiggle room but won’t allow us to not test kids.” 
Continue reading the article online

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

"the crucial part of this is we have to have the data for diagnostic purposes"

 From CommonWealth Magazine:

"THIS YEAR’S MCAS exams will be conducted this spring but will feature “significantly” reduced testing time for third through eighth graders and no schools will be newly named underperforming in the upcoming school year, Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Jeff Riley told superintendents in a memo Tuesday.

“The sudden shift to remote learning last spring, and the continuation of hybrid/remote learning this school year has likely led to significant learning loss for students around the country. The extent of the learning loss in the Commonwealth is not yet known,” Riley wrote. “The Department continues to believe the MCAS test is a crucial diagnostic tool to promote student success and educational equity and we remain committed to administering the assessment this spring, while recognizing the need for adjustments and flexibility.”

Continue reading the article online

Thursday, November 12, 2020

CommonWealth Magazine: "How about a civics project instead of another MCAS test?"

From CommonWealth Magazine we share an article of interest for Franklin:

"At the same time, our Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, with support from Secretary of Education Jim Peyser, sought to add a history-focused MCAS test to the current series of tests focused on science, English Language Arts, and math. The intent is admirable. In a testing and accountability-focused educational climate, many school and district leaders, particularly in communities predominantly serving lower-income students and students of color, have given limited attention to history and social studies in favor of tested subjects. Making history/social studies a tested subject might address that structural inequity.

But we think there may a better solution. Instead of more standardized testing, we propose each student complete a civics education project (which is already required of all students in accordance with the 2018 law) as a demonstration of knowledge and skill equivalent to a passing score on the MCAS.

The civics project could:

  • Be long-term, conducted over the course of perhaps a term, a semester, or an entire school year. In the workplace and in college, extended individual and collaborative projects are commonplace; this is excellent preparation for real-world expectations.
  • Align with the ideals of “deeper learning” articulated by scholars Jal Mehta and Sarah Fine in their book, In Search of Deeper Learning: The Quest to Remake the American High School. A well-developed civics project includes a focus on literacy (particularly important given our state’s large and growing multilingual population), real-world relevance (providing motivation for students to shape their communities through civic action), and student empowerment (students gain knowledge and skills that will enable them to be informed, active citizens).
  • Provide students choice, allowing them to focus on a topic of personal passion, or for a small group to pursue a shared interest collaboratively."
Continue reading the article online

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Commonwealth Magazine: MCAS coming in spring; Gov Baker calls ranked choice too complicated

From CommonWealth Magazine we share two articles of interest for Franklin:

"MCAS exams coming in spring, education officials say" 

"TOP MASSACHUSETTS EDUCATION officials on Tuesday insisted MCAS exams will be held next spring and urged districts to conduct in-person learning even if they are located in communities at high risk for COVID-19 – as long as there is no evidence the transmission is occurring in schools.

Testifying virtually before the Legislature’s Education Committee, state Education Secretary Jim Peyser and education Commissioner Jeff Riley said their guidance to school districts has been updated to reflect that districts are encouraged to remain open even if their community is red on the Baker administration’s color-coded map.

School districts had been asked to review at least three weeks of community COVID-19 data before adjusting learning models. Now the Baker administration officials say three weeks in red is not enough to move to remote learning.

“We are not seeing the spread take place, clustering take place in the schools as initially feared,” said Riley."

Continue reading article online

"Baker calls ranked-choice voting too complicated"

GOV. CHARLIE BAKER said on Tuesday that he opposes ranked-choice voting because it’s too complicated for both voters and election officials to carry out.

The governor said voting is already complicated enough. “From our point of view, this thing [ranked-choice voting] is too complicated to have on top of that,” he said at a State House press conference. “The counting process alone could get unbelievably difficult.”

Jesse Mermell, an honorary co-chair and senior advisor to the ranked choice campaign, said ranked choice was implemented in Maine with no problems and has been in use in Cambridge since 1941.

“I think that’s insulting to Massachusetts voters,” she said of the governor’s comments.

Continue reading article online 

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

In the News: Acapulcos open on Union St; Riley says MCAS resumes in spring 2021

From the Milford Daily News, an article of interest for Franklin:

"New aromas are wafting from the re-done kitchen of a familiar spot on Union Street these days, where the culinary traditions of Mexico have replaced those of Italy.

Acapulcos Mexican Family Restaurant & Cantina is now welcoming diners to its new location in the building formerly occupied by the Union Street Grill, after a move from its previous location one mile away in the heart of downtown Franklin.

The restaurant opened quietly over the summer at 371 Union St. after months of renovation work inside that conveys the atmosphere of a warm and welcoming Mexican hacienda with its saltillo tiled floors, colorfully tiled walls and archways, and displays of Mexican terracotta cooking vessels.

Jesus Ruelas, who operates the restaurant with his wife, Yahilda, said not everyone got the message that the popular eatery moved, and is not a victim of the pandemic, though they have also been glad to see many new faces drop by."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)
Acapulcos Mexican Family Restaurant & Cantina
Acapulcos Mexican Family Restaurant & Cantina

Massachusetts students should expect to take their MCAS exams next spring, Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Jeff Riley said Tuesday.

This past spring, after schools were abruptly forced to transition to remote learning as COVID-19 cases mounted, state officials suspended the MCAS testing requirement for 2020. A federal decision allowing states to cancel tests if they filed waiver requests facilitated that move.

Addressing the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education Tuesday, Riley said the federal government has signaled that similar action will not be coming in 2021.

“We have told superintendents very clearly that we do anticipate administering the MCAS this spring,” Riley said.

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)


Saturday, April 11, 2020

In the News: Gov. Baker signs bill to suspend MCAS for this school year

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"MCAS testing requirements for the school year are suspended. The bill the governor signed into law Friday also calls for the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to modify or waive graduation requirements for students set to complete high school this summer, and for due dates for district improvement plans to be pushed back. 
School districts have been closed by executive order since March 15. The new law also postpones the MBTA’s budget timeline and makes housing assistance benefits easier to acquire remotely. 
“Cancelling MCAS testing for the remainder of this school year will enable our teachers and students to focus on learning and personal well-being as we continue to navigate the current public health emergency,” Sen. Jason Lewis, co-chair of the Legislature’s Education Committee, said in a statement after the branches agreed to the bill Thursday. “Legislators heard loud and clear from teachers, parents and superintendents that this was the right thing to do.”

Related post: The legislation press release was shared on Friday

Friday, April 10, 2020

MA Legislature Passes Bill To Help Vulnerable Residents, Support Schools Amid The COVID-19 Public Health Crisis

Provisions address homelessness, MCAS testing requirements

The Massachusetts Senate and House on Thursday (4/09/20) passed legislation that supports those experiencing homelessness and provides testing and budgetary flexibility to school districts.

"The Senate remains steadfast in its approach to offering relief to students, families and all sectors of our Commonwealth as we continue adjust to the challenges caused by COVID-19," stated Senate President Karen E. Spilka (D – Ashland). "This bill is just the latest step as we help to guide the state through this unprecedented time. I want to thank Senator Michael Rodrigues for his leadership, Speaker DeLeo for his partnership, and all my colleagues in the Senate for their dedication and collaboration on this legislation."

"The wide-ranging effects of the COVID-19 outbreak on our schools and communities demand action, and the Legislature took steps to help those most in need and provide flexibility to our schools so that they may operate effectively during this public health crisis," said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo (D – Winthrop). "By providing emergency funding for the homeless, we are protecting those most at risk. I appreciate the leadership of Senate President Spilka as well as the work of Chairs Michlewitz and Peisch in moving these critical provisions forward."

"This bill reflects the Senate's continued commitment to act quickly to address the challenges and disruptions posed by COVID-19, and provide relief for taxpayers, students and educators, and municipalities," said Senator Michael J. Rodrigues (D – Westport), Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. "I applaud Senate President Spilka for her leadership in this uncertain time, and my colleagues in the Senate for their collaboration in supporting residents of the Commonwealth."

"This legislation helps a wide variety of entities deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic," said Representative Aaron Michlewitz, Co-Chair of the Joint Committee on Ways & Means (D – Boston). "Whether it's aiding our cities and towns with the needs of their school districts, to helping homeless providers have greater flexibility in protecting those most in need, the Legislature stands ready to help those most affected by this public health crisis."

"Cancelling MCAS testing for the remainder of this school year will enable our teachers and students to focus on learning and personal well-being as we continue to navigate the current public health emergency," said Senator Jason Lewis, Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Education (D – Winchester). "Legislators heard loud and clear from teachers, parents and superintendents that this was the right thing to do."

"This legislation provides much-needed relief to school districts as they face this unprecedented emergency," said Representative Alice Peisch, Co-Chair of the Joint Committee on Education (D – Wellesley). "The bill waives the MCAS requirement while giving the Commissioner and Board of Elementary and Secondary Education the flexibility to modify or waive the competency determination, and requires the Commissioner to delay the due date for the improvement plans required under the Student Opportunity Act. These provisions will allow districts to focus on what is most important - students' health, safety, and continued learning. I'd like to thank Speaker DeLeo and Chairman Michlewitz for their leadership, and the members of the Education Committee for their hard work and support."

"The Senate and House are working together to rapidly put in place the necessary legislative components to respond effectively to the needs of our students, our communities, the most vulnerable in our society, and the vital systems that serve them," said Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R – Gloucester).

"The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges that require ongoing collaboration at all levels," said House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R – North Reading).
  "By addressing education testing, housing assistance and the MBTA budget, the House and Senate are building on the steps we've already taken to facilitate municipal governance and make unemployment benefits more accessible. There is still much more to be done, and we must continue to work together to help ease the burden on the Commonwealth's residents during this public health crisis."

This latest relief package known as An Act to Further Address Challenges Faced by Municipalities, School Districts and State authorities Resulting from COVID-19, includes the following components.

Student Requirements and District Operations. To address disruptions caused by the closure of K-12 schools due to COVID-19, the legislation waives the MCAS requirements for the 2019-2020 academic year and allows DESE to modify or waive competency determination requirements related to high school graduation.

In order to comply with measures under the newly implemented Student Opportunity Act, the legislation would require the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Commissioner to extend the deadlines for school districts to submit their three-year plans to address educational disparities in student subgroups.  This deadline shall be extended to May 15, 2020, or later, as determined by the Commissioner.

The legislation also provides budgetary flexibility for regional school as a result of COVID-19.

Helping Vulnerable Populations. In keeping with the Legislature's commitment to protecting vulnerable populations, the legislation repurposes existing homelessness funds that currently support services that can't be provided due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The legislation redirects funding to address immediate and critical homelessness needs resulting from the public health emergency.

MBTA Budget FlexibilityThe legislation also provides the MBTA additional budgetary flexibility amid the COVID-19 emergency.

The bill, which is the latest action by the Legislature to address the COVID-19 public health crisis and its effects on Massachusetts, now heads to the Governor.

MA Legislature Passes Bill To Help Vulnerable Residents, Support Schools Amid The  COVID-19 Public Health Crisis
MA Legislature Passes Bill To Help Vulnerable Residents, Support Schools Amid The  COVID-19 Public Health Crisis

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

“Data shows that high stakes testing doesn’t measure outcomes that matter"

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"Educators and advocates on Monday urged lawmakers to press the pause button on the use of the state’s standardized test program as a graduation requirement and a component of school accountability measures. 
Bills filed by Rep. Marjorie Decker and Sen. Michael Rush would impose a three-year moratorium on what critics describe as the “high-stakes” nature of the MCAS exam, temporarily halting consideration of the results for graduation, accountability rankings, and teacher evaluations. 
Supporters of the bills told the Education Committee that the MCAS tests are not working as intended, and a break would give state education officials a chance to come up with new methods of measuring student and school performance. 
Jack Schneider, research director for the Massachusetts Consortium for Innovative Education Assessment, said standardized tests can act as a gauge of family income, race, and parents’ educational attainment, while not always capturing “many facets of a good school.”
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

“Data shows that high stakes testing doesn’t measure outcomes that matter"
“Data shows that high stakes testing doesn’t measure outcomes that matter"
A good place to start with MCAS on the site is

Sunday, December 2, 2018

School Committee - recap (sort of) - Nov 27, 2018

The video replay of this meeting has been posted by Franklin TV and is available on demand

As noted earlier, I decided to keep my fight with a cold (coughing and sniffles) to myself on Tuesday evening. So rather than attending the School Committee meeting in person, I was going to use the remote broadcast stream from Franklin TV. Alas, that was not to be. The stream was not functioning. 

When I tried to use the cable station, audio was not available. The audio did manage to get restored sometime along after I tweeted to alert folks of the problem. I had already lost context with the meeting and determined to wait for the broadcast replay to be made available by Franklin TV.

In the meantime, the MCAS presentation document shared during the meeting is available for your review here.

The Superintendent's Report is posted here to be shared. You can also get a copy from the Town of Franklin page

The full agenda and documents for this meeting can be found at the Town of Franklin page

new sign at Parmenter School
new sign at Parmenter School

Thursday, October 19, 2017

"Educators were quick to caution against making direct comparisons"

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"Just half of Massachusetts students in grades three through eight met or exceeded expectations on the new “next generation MCAS test” in math and English — the first time the test has been administered. 
Massachusetts education officials released the spring 2017 test results on Wednesday. 
Educators were quick to caution against making direct comparisons between a student’s performance on the new test and the original, nearly 20-year-old, MCAS. 
Scoring for the new test falls into four categories: Exceeding Expectations, Meeting Expectations, Partially Meeting Expectations and Not Meeting Expectations. 
As a result, some students who scored “proficient” on last year’s MCAS test may find they only scored “partially meeting expectations” on the new, tougher exam."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

The full Franklin 2016 School District profile can be found here (PDF file)

or on the MA DESE page here

Charter School MCAS 2.0 scores
Charter School MCAS 2.0 scores

Franklin District MCAS 2.0 scores
Franklin District MCAS 2.0 scores

if the screen grabs are too much of an eye test, try the online interactive version at MA DESE

An second article on the MCAS 2.0 results was also posted by MDN

Saturday, August 26, 2017

In the News: Franklin native commands ship; Waiver sought for MCAS alternative

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"The salty sea air, the never-ending expanse of blue, and the unmistakable beep on the sonar displaying a minefield off in the distance. 
Though not a typical day at work for Franklin native and commanding officer of the U.S.S. Champion, Joshua Kristenson, it’s something he’s been trained for and it’s the main focus of his job in San Diego, California. 
The 26-year-old vessel is 244-feet long and is an Avenger class mine-countermeasure ship. Her primary purpose is to detect and detonate sea mines. 
USS CHAMPION - ship's crest
USS CHAMPION - ship's crest
“Mine warfare is somewhat slow and unglamorous. It’s not shooting missiles out of space, and I’ve been on ships that can do that,” he said with a chuckle. “It’s slow and methodical, and extraordinarily vital when it comes to keeping sea-lines of communication open and protecting America and our interests.”

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Additional info on Lt Commander Kristenson and the U.S.S. Champion

"New federal limits on the number of students allowed to take an alternative to the state’s MCAS exam could have significant impacts for some special education students in Massachusetts. 
The federal Every Student Succeeds Act, the successor to No Child Left Behind, includes a requirement that no more than 1 percent of public school students in any state take the alternative assessment instead of the state’s standardized exam. Proponents of the cap say the vast majority of special education students are able to take the standard exam with accommodations, and that taking the alternative assessment in early grades could put students on a track that could delay or hinder the eventual attainment of a high school diploma. 
In Massachusetts, more than 1.6 percent of students currently take the alternative assessment, or MCAS-Alt, primarily due to severe cognitive disabilities. 
“Obviously, if a student is required to take MCAS, even with accommodations, if it’s not developmentally appropriate for the student, it’s going to have an impact on them,” said Jim Major, executive director of the Massachusetts Association of Approved Private Schools, an organization of schools that educates severely disabled students whose educational needs cannot be met by their public schools."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

"there is still work to be done, especially with the subgroup that included disabled students"

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"Three local schools scored in the highest level of performance in standardized testing, district officials said Tuesday. 
The School Committee heard a presentation at its Tuesday night meeting on the district's progress in testing, with officials saying Franklin High School, Oak Street Elementary School and Kennedy Elementary School had earned the state's "level one" accountability rating, the highest available. 
Assistant Superintendent Joyce Edwards said the high school and Kennedy School had previously held the rating, while the Oak Street School's performance represents an improvement. 
"We're currently a level two district... that's the predominant level across the state," she said. "That number is based on the lowest-performing school in the district."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

The presentation document with the MCAS and PARCC summary can be found here

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Live reporting: MCAS and PARCC Results - Spring 2016

2. Guests/Presentations

b. PARCC / MCAS – Joyce Edwards

grades 3-8 took PARCC, computer based testing
science test taken by grades 5 and 8 via paper (only option)
see page 3 of the presentation for the full summary

district schools were held 'harmless' for taking PARCC
could gain, could not lose
Kennedy, Oak, and FHS won the Level 1 status
Oak was the 'new' school to gain this status 
Level 2 as a district as it is based upon the lowest school in the district

comparison yr to yr on PARCC as State level data is not yet available

looking for a target growth of 30-60%

students in subgroups still need work to get their results up to the aggregate of all the students

data analysis
looked at in any way possible, down to individual students as necessary
state does not yet provide item analysis for the PARCC results
used in conjunction with other assessment data

Copy of District Curriculum Accommodation Plan published separately

on the Science MCAS, gr 5 16% better than State average; gr 8 18% better than the State

looking ahead to MCAS 2.0 for the spring of 2017
to use PARCC like questions, all via computer 
one testing window, largely all of April and May
the district calendar will be finalized and shared with schools/parents in December
current 8th grade class of 2021 will be the first to take the high school competency determination when they get there

PARCC should be disappearing from lexicon, only needed for some reporting comparisons

Jewell - it was a good thing for us to have taken the PARCC questions
Edwards - Yes, it was a good move

did have a number of families opt of the PARCC testing last year, a small number, less than 1% of the district; did not impact the participation rate

at FHS, no MCAS, no diploma

Scofield - What were some of the reasons for the opt out
Edwards - Mostly family desire

for FHS drop out, usually only 2-3 students per year
the final state data should be ready in a couple of weeks

student health absences do usually still allow for re-testing during the testing window

possible future question for the Communications Subcommittee on the standard testing opt out reasons to get additional info

some philosophical objections were raised due to the nature of PARCC and whether that continues with MCAS 2.0 remains to be seen

good writing is about writing for your audience, short cuts in texting does not work well in testing

O'Malley - disgruntled with the State and their progress on tests