The Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System, or commonly referred to as the MCAS, is a statewide standardized test that begins in third-grade in subjects including Math and Reading Comprehension to examine individual student, school, and district performance.
Statewide results have improved in some regard from last year. In 2018, 41% of students were partially meeting expectations and 7% were not meeting expectations. This year, 36% of students were partially meeting expectations and 8% were not meeting expectations.
Still, nearly half of all 3rd graders are not fully meeting expectations for the English Language Arts examination. So why do 3rd grade ELA results matter? Research shows that 3rd grade reading proficiency is key indicator for academic success. Why does this matter for Raising A Reader MA? As vocabulary prior to school entry is a key predictor of third grade reading proficiency shown by Risley and Hart, reading intervention such as RAR-MA is critical to allow all children to have an equal opportunity in future academic success.
Here are some additional findings from the MCAS results:
- 79% of students with disabilities statewide are partially or not meeting expectations.
- Results differ for students of color: 62% of Hispanic/Latino students and 62% of Black/African-American students are partially or not meeting expectations. Compare that to 37% of white students.
- 63% of English Learners or former English learners are partially or not meeting expectations.
- 10% of students statewide are exceeding expectations. Asian students have the highest percentage exceeding expectations at 19%.
- 62% of economically disadvantaged students (defined as participatory in state-funded program like food stamps) are partially or not meeting expectations.