MCAS results: 14 schools shed ‘underperforming’ tag, but others still struggling

Governor Deval Patrick announced Wednesday that 14 schools across the state have improved their MCAS performance to the point where they are no longer designated as underperforming, but the latest test results also show 20 schools remain troubled—with some are on the verge of being taken over by the state.

Patrick today is overseeing the release of a summary of MCAS test results from the 2012-2013 academic year.

The administration was upbeat about the results among 10th grade students in English/language arts, mathematics, and science and technology/engineering outcomes. This year, 91 percent of 10th-graders scored proficient or higher in English language arts, 80 percent in math, and 71 percent in the science and technology, the administration said.

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But that success was dampened by continuing academic weakness among Massachusetts public school students once they reach a state college campus, the state said. According to the administration, 40 percent of public high school graduates land in “developmental, non-credit bearing coursework.’’

“While I am pleased to see more than a decade of continuous improvement at grade 10, it’s clear that MCAS is not providing us with the signal or rigor we need to tell us whether students are on track and ready for college-level work,” Mitchell Chester, commissioner of elementary and secondary education, said in a statement.

Patrick held a press conference on the results at Orchard Gardens K-8 in Roxbury, which is emerging from the underperforming category after three years of concentrated effort by the teachers, administrators, parents, and students.

In addition to Orchard Gardens, Boston’s Trotter, Blackstone and John F. Kennedy elementary, and the Harbor Middle School have all improved and will shed “underperforming” designations.

Schools in several other cities are no longer considered underperforming: Kuss Middle School and Doran K-8, Fall River; Murkland Elementary, Lowell; Connery Elementary and Harrington Elementary, in Lynn; Zanetti K-8, Gerena Elementary School, and Homer Elementary, Springfield; and Union Hill Elementary.

According to the administration, two Boston schools — the Dever Elementary and the Holland Elementary — are facing potential state takeover. The other schools are the Morgan K-8 in Holyoke and the Parker Elementary in New Bedford.

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