Old Rochester outperforms state on 2023 MCAS test, Old Colony shows improvement
Old Rochester Regional School District students outperformed the state in all subjects and all grades in the 2023 MCAS test, according to data provided by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Students at Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School did not outperform the state on the 2023 MCAS test but did show improvement from its own scores in 2022.
The Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System measures academic success across public schools in the state. Students in grades 3 through 8 and grade 10 take both English and Language Arts and Math exams, while only students in grades 5, 8 and 10 take the science exam.
School districts are still using federal Covid relief funds, money from the Student Opportunity Act and grants from the education department to finance additional academic support for students. Some of this programming includes accelerated learning academies during school vacations.
According to the state, districts continue to indicate a desire for additional grants and professional learning opportunities.
The percentage of students in the Old Rochester Regional School District who “met or exceeded expectations” was higher than the state average in all grades and subjects, according to state data.
“We are proud that we are progressing faster and higher than the state recovery rates in all districts and subject levels,” said Old Rochester Regional School District Superintendent Mike Nelson. “Our students, teachers and administrators have really worked hard and accomplished significant gains to meet the needs of the children. However, we still have some work to do, as does the rest of the state, to fully recover from the 2019 achievement scores.”
The data also showed that the percentage of students in the district who “did not meet expectations” on the 2023 MCAS was lower than the state average in all grades and subjects.
But even though the district outperformed the state in 2023, MCAS test results haven’t fully recovered from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Overall, the state is still working toward recovering from the pre-pandemic MCAS scores of 2019,” said Old Rochester Regional School District Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning Shari Fedorowicz. “Schools in the state have not fully recovered to the 2019 levels yet which is reflected in the difference between 2019 and 2023 scores. Therefore, the recovery rate for the state is measuring progress toward meeting the pre-pandemic 2019 MCAS data levels.”
In nearly all grade levels and subjects, the number of Old Rochester Regional School District students who “met or exceeded expectations” has declined since 2019. Only fourth and sixth grade English Language Arts MCAS results showed improvement from 2019.
The 2019 MCAS exam was the last full test given before the Covid-19 pandemic. The 2020 MCAS was canceled due to Covid-19, and the 2021 MCAS was only a partial exam.
“We are proud of how well all of our districts performed in achievement scores this year across the board in all subject areas and grades,” said Fedorowicz. “Although it is normal to see each grade level having fluctuation in scores, our overall school averages were above the state averages and significantly above the state recovery rates.”
The number of students who “met or exceeded expectations” increased by eight percentage points on the fourth grade English Language Arts MCAS, and increased by 14 percentage points on the sixth grade English Language Arts MCAS, compared to scores from 2019.
“Although we are still recovering in some areas, overall we significantly outperformed the state in recovery rates,” said Nelson. “We continue to make improvements and put supports in place, such as piloting the new OpenSciEd and adopting a new core literacy program aligned with the Department of Education. Educators work very hard to meet the needs of all students in our district.”
Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School
At Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School, 53% of students met or exceeded expectations on the English Language Arts MCAS test, 45% of students met or exceeded expectations on the math MCAS test and 37% of students met or exceeded expectations on the science MCAS test.
These results are lower than the state average of 58% of grade 10 students meeting or exceeding expectations on the English Language Arts MCAS, 50% of grade 10 students meeting or exceeding expectations on the math MCAS, and 47% of grade 10 students meeting or exceeding expectations on the science MCAS.
Although Old Colony did not outperform or meet the state average, students did improve over previous years’ scores.
The number of Old Colony students who met or exceeded expectations on the English Language Arts MCAS increased by five percentage points from the 2022 test, and the number of students who met or exceeded expectations on the math MCAS increased by one percentage point from the 2022 test.
Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School administrators have not yet responded to a request for comment.