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					NEWTON                                                                              MCAS 
PUBLIC SCHOOLS 
100 Walnut Street, Newton, MA  02460­1398                                      Phone: 617­559­6125 
Office of Curriculum & Instruction                                             Fax:     617­559­6126 



TO:              Jeffrey Young, Ed.D. 
                 Superintendent 

FROM:            Carolyn D. Wyatt, Ed.D. 
                 Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction 

DATE:            December 5, 2007 

RE:              Analysis of the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) 2007, 
                 including Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) 

*************************************************************************************** 
Summary Results 
Grade 10 MCAS Advanced and Proficient (A+P) results, in English Language Arts (ELA) increased 
at South to 91% and decreased at North to 86% after a constant 88% A+P at both schools in 2006. 
In mathematics, grade 10 continued its upward trend in students scoring at A+P performance levels 
for both schools, reaching 90% in 2007 from 88% in 2006 at South and 88% from 87% at North. 
Spring ELA 2007 tests, initiated in 2006 at grades 5, 6, and 8, registered A+P performance levels for 
our students of a rise to 84% from 80%, a decline of 82% from 84%, and a constant of 90% 
respectively during this second administration year.  In the second year of mathematics tests for 
grades 3, 5, and 7, our students showed increased scores across the grades of 82% from 76%, 79% 
from 72%, and 72% from 69% A+P levels, respectively.  These are significant gains!  While 2006 
grade 7 ELA registered a substantial decline for Newton (­4%), 2007 performance showed a 
substantial increase (5%) in the A+P performance levels from 81% to 86%.  Though there was an 
increase in A+P results in grade 8 mathematics from 65% to 69%, longitudinal results suggest that 
these consistently depressed grade­level results still require close scrutiny and intervention. 

Of special significance, Newton’s scores in both topic development and writing conventions were 
higher than the average for all students who performed at the proficient level in ELA for both grades 
4 and 7.  Newton students in grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 performed at, or higher than students in other 
comparable systems on every open response question in grades 3­8.  These are important indicators 
that Newton students write well on both long compositions and short responses.  Moreover, our 
grade 10 mathematics students have experienced a steady increase in the percentage of A+P student 
scores since the high stakes tests were initiated.  This consistent increase suggests that we should 
broaden, initiate and sustain our focus on students performing at the Needs Improvement level 
because new Competency Determination (CD) regulations, recently passed by the MA DOE, will 
make these students more vulnerable in the coming years.




                                                     1 
We have identified a range of elements that contribute to our results that include, but are not limited 
to, the following:
                ·  New and/or changing business rules for reporting results
                ·  Tests that are changing annually with each administration at every grade
                ·  Changing district demographics
                ·  More testing, now at grade levels 3­11 and retests
                ·  Ongoing curriculum alignment, implementation, and evaluation
                ·  Placement of district programs
                ·  Professional development to support curriculum implementation
                ·  Teacher preparation and differentiated training
                ·  New subjects in the high stakes pipeline
                ·  Academic support programs differentiated for grades 3­12 

Adequate Yearly Progress 
Beginning with 2007, the MA DOE has revised its annual school and district improvement 
calculations to comply with mandates in NCLB legislation.  The MA DOE Adequate Yearly 
Progress (AYP) reporting will “discontinue the practice of combining two years of data in even­ 
numbered years.”  Instead, “annual AYP performance calculations, based on a single year of data 
and improvement calculations, will be drawn from one year of data as compared to the previous 
year of data.  This change both simplifies the process for calculating AYP and increases the 
transparency of AYP performance and improvement calculations.” 

Therefore, the MA DOE will base 2007 AYP performance calculations on the performance of all 
students tested on MCAS ELA and mathematics tests at each grade from grade 3 through grade 8, 
and in grade 10; 2007 AYP improvement calculations will be based on a comparison of student 
assessment results in those grades from spring 2006 (the 2007 baseline) to spring 2007. 

Longitudinal Cohort Data 
In addition to reporting MCAS results for each grade level by year, we also can compare cohorts of 
students as they have tested through the grades.  Please see the attached chart, 1999­2007 MCAS 
Results by Cohort, which records the progress of each class of students scoring at the A+P 
performance levels at each grade tested to date.  Only those students who tested at every grade level 
in Newton from the onset of MCAS testing to the present are included in each cohort; results from 
students who have enrolled or left the system midway through the period have been eliminated from 
the data.   This provides us with “apples to apples” cohort data that presents a more definitive view 
of Newton’s results in English Language Arts, mathematics, and science. 

These longitudinal results suggest that the percentage of A+P students who have remained in our 
system have increased performance levels over time in almost all subjects where there are sufficient 
years of test data for analysis. 

Highlights of MCAS Performance 
Mary Eich, Amy Winston and Greg Hurray will join Carol Palmer and me to present highlights of 
MCAS performances in mathematics, science and technology/engineering, and English Language 
Arts to highlight some of the issues that impact and inform our ongoing analysis of our district 
performance.



                                                     2 
           1999-2007 MCAS Results by Cohort* - Percent Scoring at Advanced or Proficient
         Class of 2009                            Class of 2010                              Class of 2011                            Class of 2012
       (Grade 11 in 07-08)                      (Grade 10 in 07-08)                        (Grade 9 in 07-08)                       (Grade 8 in 07-08)
  Admin Year     ELA    Math    Sci        Admin Year     ELA Math       Sci        Admin Year      ELA Math       Sci        Admin Year     ELA Math        Sci
  2000 Gr 3                                2001 Gr 3       82%                      2002 Gr3         84%                      2003 Gr 3       82%
  2001 Gr 4       76%    69%               2002 Gr 4       75% 66%                  2003 Gr4         77% 71%                  2004 Gr 4       82% 72%
  2002 Gr 5                                2003 Gr 5                      73%       2004 Gr5                       77%        2005 Gr 5                      66%
  2003 Gr 6              75%               2004 Gr 6              70%               2005 Gr6                77%               2006 Gr 6       85%     76%
  2004 Gr 7       89%                      2005 Gr 7       86%                      2006 Gr7         83%    72%               2007 Gr 7       89%     74%
  2005 Gr 8              74%    67%        2006 Gr 8       92%    67%     54%       2007 Gr8         93%    74%    56%        2008 Gr 8
  2006 Gr 9                                2007 Gr 9                      83%       2008 Gr9                                  2009 Gr 9
  2007 Gr10       90%    91%    52%        2008 Gr10                                2009 Gr10                                 2010 Gr10
  ELA n=665; Math n=656; Sci n=666         ELA n=646; Math n=676; Sci n=699         ELA n=640; Math n=664; Sci n=693          ELA n=622; Math n=655; Sci n=752



          Class of 2013                            Class of 2014                             Class of 2015                            Class of 2016
        (Grade 7 in 07-08)                       (Grade 6 in 07-08)                        (Grade 5 in 07-08)                       (Grade 4 in 07-08)
  Admin Year     ELA Math       Sci        Admin Year     ELA Math       Sci        Admin Year      ELA Math       Sci        Admin Year     ELA Math        Sci
  2004 Gr 3       80%                      2005 Gr 3       80%                      2006 Gr 3        78% 76%                  2007 Gr 3       76% 82%
  2005 Gr 4       73% 69%                  2006 Gr 4       68% 64%                  2007 Gr 4        78% 73%                  2008 Gr 4
  2006 Gr 5       82% 71%       74%        2007 Gr 5       85% 79%        74%       2008 Gr 5                                 2009 Gr 5
  2007 Gr 6       84% 79%                  2008 Gr 6                                2009 Gr 6                                 2010 Gr 6
  2008 Gr 7                                2009 Gr 7                                2010 Gr 7                                 2011 Gr 7
  2009 Gr 8                                2010 Gr 8                                2011 Gr 8                                 2012 Gr 8
  2010 Gr 9                                2011 Gr 9                                2012 Gr 9                                 2013 Gr 9
  2011 Gr10                                2012 Gr10                                2013 Gr10                                 2014 Gr10
  ELA n=655; Math n=692; Sci n=734         ELA n=697; Math n=751; Sci n=805         ELA n=783; Math n=783                     ELA n=894; Math n=890

  Notes:
  * The percentages indicated for cohorts listed in each box above refer to only the set of students who tested at every grade level in Newton from the onset of
  MCAS testing to the present.
  In 2001, new standards were set for Grade 4 ELA and Grade 3 Reading was introduced.
  In 2006, ELA tests were introduced in grades 5, 6, and 8; Math tests were introduced in grades 3, 5, and 7.
  In 2007, the high school end-of-course Science & Technology/Engineering tests were introduced. Newton tested grade 9 students at the end of the
  Introductory Physics course; the results are included above in the Class of 2010. For 2007 only, the MA DOE required grade 10 students to take a science
  test to obtain enough data to determine performance level standards. Most Newton students take Chemistry or Biology at grade 10. Aggregated results for
  these tests are shaded above in the Class of 2009.

Curriculum and Instruction 12/5/07
Longitudinal Look at MCAS Scores: North HS and South HS
    North HS Class of 2009             South HS Class of 2009
      (Grade 11 in 07-08)                (Grade 11 in 07-08)
   Admin Year ELA Math Sci            Admin Year ELA Math Sci
   2000 Gr 3                          2000 Gr 3
   2001 Gr 4   76% 68%                2001 Gr 4   78% 69%
   2002 Gr 5                          2002 Gr 5
   2003 Gr 6       71%                2003 Gr 6       79%
   2004 Gr 7   85%                    2004 Gr 7   93%
   2005 Gr 8       67% 73%            2005 Gr 8       81% 63%
   2006 Gr 9                          2006 Gr 9
   2007 Gr10   88% 90% 46%            2007 Gr10   93% 93% 56%
   ELA n=324; Math n=320; Sci n=270   ELA n=335; Math n=332; Sci n=392

   North HS Feeder Schools:           South HS Feeder Schools:
   Bigelow MS      Day MS             Brown MS       Oak Hill MS
   Cabot           Burr               Angier         Memorial Spaulding
   Lincoln-Eliot   Cabot              Countryside    Bowen
   Underwood       Franklin           Mason-Rice     Zervas
   Ward            Horace Mann        Williams
                   Peirce
                                                                 MCAS ELA Longitudinal Patterns
                                                                          Class of 2009
                                                                  North and South High Schools

                                               100%

                                                                              93%              93%
                                               95%
% Students Scoring at Proficient or Advanced




                                               90%


                                               85%                                             88%
                                                          78%                 85%
                                               80%
                                                                                                           North HS
                                                                                                           n=324
                                               75%
                                                          76%                                              South HS
                                                                                                           n=335
                                               70%


                                               65%


                                               60%


                                               55%


                                               50%
                                                      2001 Grade 4        2004 Grade 7     2007 Grade 10
                                                                MCAS Mathematics Longitudinal Patterns
                                                                            Class of 2009
                                                                    North and South High Schools

                                               100%

                                                                                                         93%
% Students Scoring at Proficient or Advanced




                                               95%


                                               90%

                                                                                                         90%
                                               85%                                        81%
                                                                           79%
                                               80%
                                                                                                                     North HS
                                                                                                                     n=320
                                               75%
                                                                                                                     South HS
                                                          69%                                                        n=332
                                               70%
                                                                           71%
                                               65%        68%
                                                                                          67%
                                               60%


                                               55%


                                               50%
                                                      2001 Grade 4     2003 Grade 6   2005 Grade 8   2007 Grade 10