School board voices concerns over declining test resultsBy Mike Berger
Canton School Committee members want some answers concerning two discouraging trends found in the 2016 Massachusetts School Report Cards that were recently released by the state education department.
The committee is alarmed by a system-wide drop in the composite performance index (CPI) score in science from a high of 89.1 in 2013 to 86.5 in 2016, as well as an overall decline in CPI scores across the three major academic areas at the JFK and Luce elementary schools during the same time period.
The CPI, according to the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, ranges from 0-100 and represents the extent to which all students are progressing toward proficiency on standardized tests.
In all instances, the Canton elementary schools are exceeding state averages; however, the only elementary school showing increases in English language arts (ELA), math and science from 2013 to 2016 is the Hansen School, which has attained Level 1 status, the highest a school can achieve.
School Committee member Kristin Mirliani alerted the committee to these trends during a review of the state report cards at their meeting last Thursday, December 1. A copy of the reports were also recently mailed home to parents.
“Two thirds of our elementary schools’ scores dropped in three major areas in four years and I am concerned about that,” said Mirliani.
Specifically at the JFK, CPI scores declined in ELA from 94.3 in 2013 to 91.2 in 2016, in math from 93.8 to 92.9, and in science from 96.2 to 87.7.
At the Luce, ELA scores fell from 91 in 2013 to 90 in 2016; math scores fell from 90.1 to 88.8; and science scores dropped from 89.3 to 79.2. The statewide CPI average for elementary science was 78.6 in 2016.
At Canton High School, CPI scores have risen in all three academic areas from 2013 to 2016. At the Galvin Middle School, scores in ELA declined slightly from 94.4 in 2014 to 93.8 in 2015 but rose to 94.2 in 2016; math scores rose significantly over the last four years, from 83.0 in 2013 to 86.4 in 2016; and science scores rebounded somewhat in 2016 to 83.5 after dropping for two consecutive years from a high of 85.0 in 2013 …
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