Tracking MCAS Scores for Wayland's Class of 2014

We took a look at how the Wayland class of 2014 has scored on its MCAS tests from fourth grade in 2006 through 10th grade in 2012.

The state released MCAS scores for each district and school earlier this week. Overall, Wayland students performed very well in comparison to state averages and showed similar scores to those they posted last year.

On one of Patch's MCAS stories, however, Jeff Dieffenbach left the following comment:

It's worth pointing out that comparing scores from one year to the next doesn't really represent "gains" or "losing ground." Such scores are comparing two different groups of students--it's natural that there will be year-to-year fluctuations. A better (but more difficult) comparison is looking at how a given grade's students score over time. For instance, assuming that the test scores are normalized, it would be desirable to see the Class of 2014 improve their reading/ELA, math, science, and technology proficiency from 3rd to 4th to ... to 10th grade.

We decided to do the best we could with Dieffenbach's suggestion, keeping in mind a couple of things:

1. Students first take MCAS tests in third grade, but do not begin taking an English/language arts test until fourth grade. Therefore, we began our charts with the fourth grade tests.

2. The group of students we followed from fourth through 10th grades does not remain entirely unchanged. Students come and go through the years, but the majority of the student body likely remained intact. In fact, the lowest number of students tested was 198 (10th grade science test) while the highest was 208 (sixth grade English and seventh grade math tests).

3. We cannot speak to how the scores are normalized -- we've simply looked at the reported percentages for Wayland's class of 2014 who took the MCAS as fourth graders in 2006 through their 10th grade tests in 2012.

4. For the sake of chart and graph brevity, we've abbreviated the names of the English/language arts test and the science and technology/engineering test to simply English and science, respectively.

WAYLAND CLASS OF 2014 MCAS SCORES (4th-10th grade) Grade/
% Advanced % Proficient % Needs Improvement % Warning/ Failing       

4th 12 59 26 3 201 5th 30 52 17 2 200 6th 38 52 7 3 208 7th 37 53 10 0 206 8th 41 54 4 0 205 10th 63 36 1 0 202 Math 4th 28 26 36 9 201 5th 40 36 15 8 201 6th 55 29 11 5 207 7th 40 40 13 7 208 8th 51 31 14 4 205 10th 78 17 5 0 201 Science

5th 31 41 27 2 200 8th 20 60 17 2 205 10th 55 37 8 0 198

Source: Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education


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