MCAS scores for 10th-graders reach record high

Nearly 90 percent of high school sophomores in Massachusetts scored proficient in English—the highest tally on record for that grade—on the latest round of the MCAS tests, the state education department announced today.

In the past five years, the percentage of 10th-graders who have earned a proficient score in English has climbed from 71 to 88. Scores among African-American and Latino students, as well as students from low-income families and students with disabilities, rose sharply.

Education officials said the scores were promising.

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“We are extremely proud of how far we have come in raising the bar for all of our students to reach their full potential,” Paul Reville, the state’s education secretary, said in a statement. “Our strategies are working, but we know there is much more to be done to ensure all means all.”

In math, 78 percent of 10th-graders were proficient, compared to 77 percent last year. Over the last five years, the percentage has climbed from 68.

In third grade, English scores held steady, while math scores dropped. Fourth-grade scores were up in both subjects, while fifth-grade English scores slipped.

Across all grades, scores increased in 9 of 17 tests since last year, and 14 of 17 since five years ago.

Results from individual schools and districts will be released Wednesday.