Grade 8 MCAS Roundup: Barnstable most improved, Lighthouse Charter challenged

Mashpee Middle School embarrassed itself by dropping 14 percentage points to trail the Cape
8th Grade winners and losers.

Grade 8 MCAS Roundup

Barnstable most improved, Lighthouse Charter challenged, Mashpee drops to bottom

Barnstable’s 8th graders showed 30 percentage point gains in both mathematics and science/tech/engineering in the spring 2013 MCAS tests.

Superintendent Mary Czajkowski’s “Choose Big, Choose Barnstable” campaign must be working, as her Mid Cape district ties Nauset and Sandwich with 74% of students advanced or proficient in mathematics.

In science, tech & engineering, Barnstable leads the Cape with 77% of students advanced/proficient – 17 points ahead of second-place Chatham.

See the complete chart of all schools Grade 8 MCAS scores below.

English: Lighthouse, Falmouth, Chatham lead

Cape Cod Lighthouse Charter, Falmouth and Chatham lead the Cape in grade 8 English Language Arts (ELA) scores with 92%, 90% and 90% scoring advanced or proficient. Mashpee and Dennis-Yarmouth trail the group at 76% and 72%, respectively. 29% of Dennis-Yarmouth’s and 24% of Mashpee’s eighth graders scored Needs Improvement or Warning/Failure on MCAS ELA.

Mathematics: Barnstable improves 30 percent, Mashpee drops 14

Barnstable’s 8th graders improved by 30 percentage points to tie Nauset and Sandwich as top math achievers, with 74% of students in each town’s 8th grade scoring advanced or proficient.

Mashpee Middle School embarrassed itself by dropping 14 percentage points to trail the Cape with only 19% of its 8th graders advance/proficient. With 80% of Mashpee’s 8th graders scoring Needs Improvement or Warning/Failure, Superintendent Brian Hyde needs a strong stomach when he faces 80% of his now-9th graders’ parents.

The real surprise comes at Cape Cod Lighthouse Charter School – and not the good kind of surprise. Caught between traditionally well-prepared students of the Lower Cape and the less-prepared children of the Mid-Cape, the Harwich charter school has faced math challenges for several years. In 2012-2013 the school implemented a “Math in Action” program that focused the school culture on high achievement in Mathematics. Unfortunately this year, the charter school’s 8th grade advanced/proficient scores fell 12 percentage points to only 59%. Next week CCLCS officials will speak with Cape Cod Today to discuss their response to the scores and also to consider other aspects of math instruction at CCLCS.

Science & Tech/Engineering: Barnstable leads, Lighthouse drops 19 percent

Barnstable led the Cape in 8th grade science, tech/engineering. 77% of their students scored advanced or proficient, an increase of 30% over 2012. Chatham and Nauset came in second and third with 60% and 58% respectively.

Lighthouse Charter’s 8th graders dropped 19 points, from last year’s leading 74% to a middle-of-the-pack 55%. Mashpee’s dismal 2012 score of 32% dropped to 22% this year. 77% of Mashpee’s students scored Needs Improvement/Warning Failure on the Science, Tech/Engineering MCAS this year.

Moving Forward

As always, Cape Cod Today provides in-depth coverage of MCAS results. Our first follow-up interview will be with Paul Niles of Cape Cod Lighthouse Charter School to hear his take on 2013 MCAS scores and how the school plans to address them.

We also plan an interview with Barnstable Superintendent Mary Czajkowski to discuss her district’s impressive growth in both mathematics and science/tech/engineering.

Editor's note: Due to a reporting error, the incorrect chart was originally used. The correct chart indicating the correct numbers for Nauset Middle School is below. The error was in the computation of Nauset Middle School's science and technology scores (Proficient: 55%, not 35%; Needs Improvement: 36% not 43%; Warning/Failing: 5% not 18%; Needs Improvement/Failing: 41% not 61%).


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