GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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September 27, 2013

ME school holds high MCAS marks

The latest set of scores show that students across the Manchester Essex Regional School district improved on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System — or MCAS — tests compared to last year, though some groups dropped slightly since 2012.

Overall, the district has improved in eight areas and dropped slightly in nine others since last year’s MCAS scores.

However, the average of students that scored proficient or higher on the test are still well above the state averages.

In third-grade reading this year, 77 percent of students scored proficient or higher. While that’s down from 87 percent last year, it remains well ahead of the 2013 state average of 57 percent.

The district did well as a whole, with the lowest percentage of students scoring proficient or higher listed at 64 percent in eighth-grade science. That figure, again, was down from the 78 percent posted last year but still above the state average of 39 percent.

In addition, student growth and achievement improved since the previous year, with scores up in nearly all areas.

”What we’re always shooting for is high growth, high achievement,” Superintendent Pamela Beaudoin said.

In that vein, Beaudoin and the school’s sights are dead on.

In English this year, 98 percent of all high school students scored proficient or higher, up from 97 percent last year. In middle-school English, scores of proficient or higher were also up one percent since last year, coming in at 94 percent.

In lower grades, Essex Elementary school stayed steady at 75 percent in English Language Arts. Manchester Memorial Elementary students, however, fell to 84 percent proficient or higher in English compared to 94 percent last year.

In math, Essex Elementary students led the charge in terms of growth and achievement; 76 percent of students scored proficient or higher this year, up from 73 percent last year, while Manchester Memorial Elementary School students remained steady with 86 percent proficiency in math.

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