Officials Positive About MCAS Despite Lagging Scores
Officials are saying the lagging MCAS scores do not reflect the work being done in the district and will not for some time.
School officials highlighted the proper approach of teachers and administration across the district even as Marlborough's MCAS scores lag behind the state average.
“I think you are doing it the right way,” said Interim Superintendent Stephen Dlott of the decision to change curriculum to align it completely with new standards. “The scores don’t reflect that yet.”
The changes to MCAS goals and testing prompted the district to pursue a huge curriculum change last year. This was the right direction he said, but the results cannot be seen yet and will not be immediately.
“It’s not going to skyrocket. Scores don’t work like that,” said Dlott.
It will take three to four years for the scores to truly reflect these new curriculums, said Kane Elementary School Principal Kirk Gibbons who characterized the change as a complete overhaul.
“We feel challenged by it,” said Instructional Leadership Director Gabrielle Abrams. “We know we can reach greater heights and we want to see that happen.”
The new system measures a shrink in the proficiency gap rather than focusing on the goal of 100 percent proficiency. The new goal is to close the proficiency gap by 50 percent by the 2016 to 2017 school year.
The district has lagged behind in the first year of these new educational goals. The high school is in the lowest 20 percent of schools in the state, as measured against like schools across the state. This has resulted in the district being placed at a level three as a whole even though the rest of the schools remain at the better performing level two.
School Committee Members remained positive about the direction of the district.
"I feel we are at the beginning of an exciting journey," said Member Jennifer Hardy.