Madison Park is on an upward trajectory.
by Gary Kaplan
The scores are in, and they’re down. It was expected that scores on the new 10th grade MCAS 2.0 would be lower than on the old “Legacy” MCAS. The new test was designed to be more difficult, with higher-level questions. In addition, it was online, not on paper like the old test, and it contained new question formats—technology-assisted questions and multi-text comparisons, for starters—that students had never seen before. Lower scores were fully expected.
The standard shorthand metric is the percent of students who score in the top two of the four performance levels. Under the old system, that was Proficient and Advanced (P/A). The new terminology is Meeting or Exceeding Expectations (M/E). Statewide, English Language Arts M/E scores were 30 percentage points below last year’s P/A scores. Math M/E scores were 19 points below last year’s P/A, statewide and in the Boston Public Schools. These deltas can be used as a rough gauge of performance.
We are proud to note that Boston’s Madison Park Technical Vocational High School, where JFYNet has provided Math MCAS support for the past four years, beat the state and the District by posting a Math delta of only 18 percentage points. Madison Park also beat all 26 other high schools in the BPS except for the three exam schools and one selective school.
Madison Park is on an upward trajectory. MCAS scores aren’t the only indicator, but they are the state’s principal gauge of academic standing. Under the leadership of Executive Director Kevin McCaskill, Madison Park has focused on meeting the rising academic challenges of college and careers. Its performance in math, the foundation of STEM, demonstrates that vocational schools can meet the demands of the new economy. Perhaps it’s time to change the name to Madison Park Technical, Vocational and Academic High School.
Gary Kaplan is the executive director of JFYNetWorks.
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