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Yes, They Can! The Massachusetts Story of Reform, Expectations, Achievement and Challenges David P. Driscoll Commissioner of Education November 4, 2006.

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Presentation on theme: "Yes, They Can! The Massachusetts Story of Reform, Expectations, Achievement and Challenges David P. Driscoll Commissioner of Education November 4, 2006."— Presentation transcript:

1 Yes, They Can! The Massachusetts Story of Reform, Expectations, Achievement and Challenges David P. Driscoll Commissioner of Education November 4, 2006

2 The Massachusetts Story of Reform - “A Nation At Risk” was national call for change - Education Reform Act of 1993 called for sweeping reform and held everyone accountable - Unparalleled Legislative support - Created standards and assessment system - Refused to bend on standards or expectations - Critics predicted skyrocketing dropouts and high failure rates….. ….They were wrong.

3 What’s Been Accomplished in Massachusetts? –Finance and Governance Reforms : –Articulation of Standards & Assessments : –Student & School Accountability 2004 and Beyond: –Capacity Building/Targeted Assistance

4 Our Success Is Evident In Our Numbers In 2005, MA was first state to ever have the highest scaled scores on the NAEP Reading and Math exams in Grades 4 and 8 in the same year. In 2006, 59% of 10 th graders scored Proficient or Advanced in both ELA and Math In 2006, 84% of 10 th graders earned their CD on their first try, up from 68% in 2001 and just 48% in SAT scores rose for 14 straight years until they declined in For the first time, our achievement gap is beginning to close.

5 Massachusetts By The Numbers

6 Numbers Show That Our Population Is Changing

7 Percentage of Gr. 10 Students Earning CD On First Attempt – 2001 & 2006

8 Gr. 10 CD Attainment Results Show Steady Progress Since 2001

9 Percentage of Gr. 10 Students Scoring Proficient or Above in ELA by Race

10 Percentage of Gr. 10 Students Scoring Proficient or Above in Math by Race

11 Percentage of Gr. 10 Students Scoring Proficient in ELA and Math by Race

12 Percentage of Gr. 10 Students Scoring Proficient on Gr. 10 ELA and Math: Urban vs. Non-Urban

13 Is the Achievement Gap Closing? Ask these kids... O’Bryant High School students from Boston celebrate with Mayor Menino and Gov. Romney after learning they’ve received the Adams Scholarship.

14 …Or These Kids… Adams Scholarship recipients get free in-state college tuition for high MCAS performance.

15 …Or These Kids… Students and teachers at the Dorchester Education Complex celebrated when they learned their MCAS performance made their school one of the top five most improved in the state.

16 Nara moved to the U.S. from Uruguay in She graduated 8 th in her Fitchburg High School class in She attends Fitchburg State College. Adilson is 19 and came to the U.S. from Cape Verde 14 months ago. He has already earned his CD and met all requirements for graduation from New Bedford High School. …Or These Kids, Who Both Immigrated To The U.S. With Limited English Skills

17 Tenth grade performance has increased each year but 2006 was the second year in a row we saw slight declines in the lower grades. The achievement gap is getting narrower, but is still far from closed. Graduation rates are unacceptably low for all students, especially Blacks and Hispanics. Too few students graduate from high school college ready. Too few students ever graduate from college. The bottom line: MA may be at the top nationally, but we are far from the top globally. But Our Work Is Not Finished

18 Nationally We Are Losing Too Many Students In the “Educational Pipeline” Sources: National Center for Public Policy & Higher Education, Policy Alert, April % 9 th Graders Earning BA

19 Source: Manhattan Institute Public High School Graduation and College-Readiness Rates: 1991–2002, February 2005 Too Few Ninth Graders Graduate High School

20 Among High School Graduates, Too Few Are “College Ready” Source: Manhattan Institute, Public High School Graduation and College-Readiness Rates: 1991–2002, February 2005,

21 Grade 8 Math Singapore604 Korea587 Chinese Taipei585 Hong Kong582 Japan579 Belgium558 Netherlands540 Hungary532 Slovakia534 Canada531 Slovenia530 Russia526 Australia525 Czech Rep., Finland520 Malaysia519 Massachusetts Massachusetts513 United States502 International Avg.487 Grade 8 Science Chinese Taipei569 Singapore568 Hungary552 Japan550 Korea549 Netherlands545 Australia540 Czech Rep.539 Finland, Slovakia535 Massachusetts533 United States515 International Avg.488 Source: TIMSS 1999 Globally, Massachusetts and the Nation are Far Behind: 1999 TIMMS Results

22 What Did We Do Right in Massachusetts? We set the Right Standard for High School Graduation We have had unity among State Leaders Our Assessment System is Fair and Transparent Resources for Academic Support

23 We Started Slow, And Set The Right Standard We began by tackling English and Math only; rolled out other tests later. Administered English and Math exams for 3 years before they counted Set the “Goldilocks” passing score: not too high, not too low. Board of Education just voted to increase requirements to push more students to Proficient.

24 Unity Among State Legislators and Business Leaders Initial commitment from business community 4 Republican Governors and Democratic Legislature (and counting) Stability of State Board of Education and Commissioner Support of urban superintendents Ongoing support of business groups –Mass Insight –MassINC –Foundation for Partnerships –MassPartners

25 We Created A Fair and Transparent System Test questions, rubrics and anchor papers released Student reports include item by item results MCAS Alternate Assessment Portfolio Program MCAS Appeals process Focused Retest Academic Support Grants Certificate of Attainment for kids who don’t pass

26 The Next Phase of Education Reform: Has To Be Student-Focused Get students engaged in their learning Graduate students who are career and college- ready Address social and emotional barriers to learning More parental support Longer school day/year

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