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Test scores affirm school progress

Now that the state has released the MCAS results from last spring, it’s great to see the progress being made in Lowell Public Schools demonstrated in our test scores—one measure of success taken quite seriously by the state and the federal No Child Left Behind law. The efforts of school administrators and teachers to provide strong curriculum with excellent teaching are paying off with substantive improvements in students success. To help put that success in perspective, compare what’s been accomplished in Lowell to state results: First off, the overall average rate of improvement in Lowell was 10% while the state achieved 5%. (State results obviously include progress made in wealthy communities, as well as suburban and urban schools.) Lowell’s ability to double the state’s progress is especially significant when you consider that our student demographics include the highest percentage of second language learners in the commonwealth, not to mention poverty levels at about 65%. Some middle-school scores, in particular, were astounding. For instance, 14% more Lowell sixth graders scored advanced/proficient in math while the state average jumped only 6%. On the other end, the number of sixth graders who scored in the warning category was reduced by 15% in Lowell while the state reduced only 5% on average. Lowell eighth grade math results showed a 13% reduction in students who received warning scores while the state warning category reduced only 4%. These advances are significant, but there is still much work to be done. It is encouraging, however, to see test scores that affirm the focus on high-quality curriculum and excellent instruction are paying off in substantive ways. Congratulations to the administrators, staff, teachers, and especially the students. Keep up the good work!

posted in Education, In the News, Youth | 1 Comment

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