Grade 3 MCAS scores are erratic across Cape

Wellfleet outscored all other Cape schools - Monomoy's third and eighth grade scores are shockingly low

Nauset excels while Monomoy fizzles

Scores erratic across Cape, big improvements in Orleans, Truro

Wellfleet outscored all other Cape school districts in the 2014 third grade MCAS results published last week by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Orleans and Truro saw strong recovery in their mathematics scores while the Monomoy Regional School District suffered severe drops in both reading and math.

See the complete MCAS score chart below.

Reading Scores

94% of Wellfleet’s third graders scored proficient or advanced in reading, up from 88% last year. 88% Eastham’s third graders were advanced/proficient versus 88% in 2013. Third place went to Provincetown at 86%.

Bourne and Dennis-Yarmouth tied for the lowest percentage advance/proficient at only 54%.

Monomoy’s average/proficient percentage dropped from 74% in 2013 to 60% in 2014.

Math Scores

100% of Wellfleet’s third graders scored advanced or proficient on the mathematics test, up from 92% in 2013. Provincetown came in second at 93%.

Both Eastham and Orleans saw strong growth. Orleans improved from 79% in 2013 to 90% this year and Eastham grew from 73% to 92% advanced/proficient in math.

The Cape’s lowest math percentages of advanced/proficient were earned at Dennis-Yarmouth (69%) and Monomoy (63%). DY’s percentage is up a bit from last year’s 64% and Monomoy’s is down from last year’s 74% advanced/proficient.

Concern Over Reading

There is state-wide concern over 2014’s third grade reading scores. As State House News Service reports, 43% of Massachusetts’ third graders are not proficient readers - some 29,362 children.

In a study published in 2010 by the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University, the author cites a study that found “74 percent of third-graders who read poorly are still struggling in ninth grade”.

In general, our Cape Cod school districts did a little better than the average of 43% non-proficient readers but many are a bit too close to that line for comfort.

Conclusions

The Monomoy Regional School District has delivered less than stellar results on this year’s MCAS. Their high school results were “middle to the pack” but their third grade and eighth grade scores are shockingly low, especially for a district that calls itself “the premier ‘school of choice’ on Cape Cod.”

Mashpee showed modest improvement over last year’s third grade scores, with a five point gain in reading and an 8 point gain in mathematics.

Sandwich was a bit of a surprise with 58% advanced/proficient readers and 78% in math. We usually expect to see stronger numbers coming out of Sandwich.

The Barnstable Community Horace Mann Charter School observed a strong growth in mathematics – 79% advanced/proficient versus 61% last year.

Only two districts – Monomoy and Brewster had as many as 10% of their students fail the reading test. The highest failure rates in mathematics were Monomoy (11%) and Orleans (10%).

MCAS remains the “Consumer Reports” style rating that governs much of school choice activity on Cape Cod. School choice and charter choice remain a major factor in the Cape’s public school competition.

If the Cape’s overall school population continues to fall, high MCAS scores may determine which school districts remain independent and which are absorbed by their competitors.


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