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2017 MCAS Results Presented to the School Committee

At the November 30, 2017 School Committee meeting, Deputy Superintendent Nicole Gittens and Erin Cooley, the district’s Director for Data Analysis and Information Management, presented a report on the district’s 2017 MCAS results. The presentation, put together by the Office of Strategy and Performance, highlighted both the strong overall performance and the ongoing and persistent achievement gaps between groups of students. The report showed that the 10-year pattern of significant differences in MCAS results between groups of students continues.
 

The presentation had three primary objectives: help the School Committee understand the new MCAS 2.0 assessment that students took for the first time in 2017; explain the level of skill and understanding the MCAS assessment currently requires of students; and show how some of our schools are making progress on the persistent achievement and opportunity gaps that Brookline has had on MCAS for more than a decade. 

Unlike in previous years, the presentation showed how specific schools are breaking the ongoing pattern of significant differences in MCAS results between groups of students. Deputy Superintendent Gittens explained how the Baker School has successfully eliminated the achievement gap between African American students and white and Asian students on the English Language Arts assessment. The presentation also highlighted the progress the Lincoln School has been making in improving math learning for African American students. Ms. Gittens also shared the work being done by the BHS English Department to ensure that there are more equitable outcomes in reading and writing for all students.

To help the School Committee develop a better understanding of how our elementary students do in English Language Arts on the MCAS, Ms. Gittens shared a sample MCAS question, showed an exemplar that would have earned the maximum points possible, and shared the results for Brookline’s third graders. Ms. Gittens stressed that Brookline should expect that our students will excel at this level of writing as the state standard is not a significantly high standard and the district's learning expectations exceed the state standards.

During and after the presentation, the committee engaged in a robust discussion about the MCAS results, the nature of the assessment, and to what standards we should hold our students. 

Additional MCAS Resources from the state Department of Elementary & Seondary Education