MA Public Schools Improve on State Tests – including in Springfield – Though One Falls to Lowest Category

Massachusetts officials say Bay State public school students made their best showing ever in the high stakes achievement tests known as MCAS. But the results for the 2012 school year released today also showed significant pockets where performance improved little – and one Springfield school fell into the Level 4 category – cited by the state for chronic low achievement.

Four Springfield schools that had been characterized as poor performers in previous years did show significant improvement –  Zanetti, Gerena, Kiley and Homer Street saw big score jumps in both math and English. Superintendent Daniel Warwick says those schools are on track to avoid a potential state takeover.

“Our Level Four elementary schools have made significant gains under the Level 4 process. Gains that far outpace gains at other Level 4 schools across the state. Even though the populations at these schools are the highest in poverty across the commonwealth of Massachusetts.”

And 10th graders in all Springfield schools improved their scores significantly. That’s a sign, Warwick says, that programs aimed at improving student performance put in place in lower grades are bearing fruit at the high-school level.  But one elementary school appears to be struggling — state officials classified DeBerry elementary school as level 4 for the first time.

Education commissioner Mitchell Chester says DeBerry and two other schools in the state have been on his watch list.

The Level 4 designation makes DeBerry eligible for state grants up to a half million dollars a year. State officials did highlight three western Massachusetts elementary schools for particularly high achievement on the MCAS tests– Brimfield Elementary, Granby’s East Meadow School, and the Sunderland elementary schools.