Christa McAuliffe Charter Students Outperform Framingham, State in Latest MCAS Results

FRAMINGHAM – Christa McAuliffe Charter School students outperformed Framingham and the state in the English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science, Technology & Engineering assessments, according to the latest MCAS results.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts released Next Generation MCAS results at midnight.

“I am incredibly proud of McAuliffe scholars and teachers! I can directly attribute our academic successes to scholars’ development of their Habits of Work and Learning and their creation of high quality work. These other elements of student learning that we care so deeply about at McAuliffe guide scholars to own their learning and drive them to  excel,” said McAuliffe’s Executive Director Kristin Harrison.

McAuliffe is a public charter school in Framingham for students in grades 6-7-8. Students come from Framingham and surrounding MetroWest communities and are admitted via a blind lottery.

In English Language Arts McAuliffe students outperformed Framingham and the State.

  • 52% of McAuliffe scholars meeting or exceeding expectations compared with 37% of Framingham middle schoolers.
  • McAuliffe scholars with disabilities subgroup outperformed the state and Framingham with 29% of McAuliffe scholars with disabilities meeting or exceeding compared with 7% of middle schoolers in Framingham.

McAuliffe scholars outperformed the state on many questions with particular strength in the following skills:

  • 6th: Using evidence to analyze a text; determining the author’s purpose
  • 7th: Determining the meaning of words in context; using evidence to analyze characters’ perspectives.
  • 8th: Analyzing central idea of a text; determining the author’s point of view.

 

A particular area for improvement is scholars’ skill at crafting a written response to a prompt guiding them to compare and analyze two texts about a similar topic.

In addition, our humanities department will be working closely with Ms. Ciccone, our Technology Integration Specialist, to develop scholars’ skill at reading and interacting with texts on a chromebook and engaging in the writing process in the computer-based MCAS testing platform, said the charter school.

In math:

  • McAuliffe scholars outperformed Framingham and the state in Mathematics with 50% of McAuliffe scholars meeting or exceeding expectations compared with 38% of Framingham middle schoolers.
  • McAuliffe scholars with disabilities subgroup outperformed the state and Framingham with 26% of McAuliffe scholars with disabilities meeting or exceeding compared with 7% of middle schoolers in Framingham.

 

McAuliffe scholars outperformed the state on many questions with particular strength in the following skills:

  • 6th: Working with unit rates; completing real-world problems that involve fractions and percentages.
  • 7th: Completing problems with rational numbers; solving problems that include tables and graphs.
  • 8th: Working with reflected triangles; applying the Pythagorean theorem.

An area for improvement is scholar’s ability to write about their mathematical problem solving and conceptual understanding.

Writing about math is probably a least favorite thing to do for most scholars, but we have to guide our sixth, seventh, and eighth graders to develop this skill in order to showcase their thinking and understanding to the reader, said Harrison.

This has already been named as the math department’s top priority for the 2017-18 school year, said Harrison.

In the MCAS Science, Technology, and Engineering, McAuliffe students:

  • Outperformed Framingham and the state in Science, Technology & Engineering with 47% of our scholars scoring at advanced or proficient compared with 26% of Framingham eighth graders.
  • Outperformed the state on many questions with strength in the areas of earth, space, and life sciences.

Last year, a team of teachers and leaders mapped out updates to our science scope and sequence so that our curriculum aligns with the new science standards, said Harrison.

This year we are focusing on building and implementing new science expeditions and units that align with the updated science standards, said Harrison.

 

The next generation MCAS is an entirely different test than previous tests MCAS and PARCC tests, and the state recommended not comparing scores to those tests.

While standardized testing is only one of the ways we measure student learning at McAuliffe, it is an important measure that helps us assess our scholars’ mastery of skills and knowledge compared with scholars across the state. At McAuliffe, equally important are scholars’ development of Habits of Work and Learning and production of high quality work, said the charter school.

 

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Framingham Source Editor Susan Petroni

Susan Petroni Framingham Source Editor Email: editor@FraminghamSource.com Phone: 508-315-7176

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