MCAS results are mixed for NMRSD
Join the discussion below, or Read more at Lowell Sun.
#1 Sep 28, 2010
Once again we are seeing steady improvement in MCAS under the leadership of Dr Marshall and her team.
#2 Sep 28, 2010
…we have some NEEDS-IMPROVEMENT news," Brady said.
The districts that NEED IMPROVEMENT based on the MCAS adequate yearly progress measurement were Spaulding Memorial School, both aggregate and subgroups; Hawthorne Brook Middle School, subgroups; and Nissitissit Middle School, subgroups.
…schools must address the INADEQUACIES with a new learning plan that includes a timeline and specifics as to HOW THEY WILL ADDRESS DEFICIENCIES, Brady said.
…added that THE DISTRICT'S FOURTH-GRADE ENGLISH NUMBERS REMAIN AN AREA OF CONCERN.
…math numbers represent "SPOTTY PERFORMANCE" ACROSS THE DISTRICT, she said, especially for fourth-graders,
…Brady said: "WE HAVE NOT DONE ENOUGH FOR OUR GIFTED AND TALENTED STUDENTS.”
Needs improvement...inadequacies...d eficiencies...areas of concern...spotty performance across the district...we have not done enough for our students...
#3 Sep 28, 2010
Unfortunaltely there is a group of Topix readers/responders who take the opportunity to comment on every NMRHS story by bashing Dr. Marshall and the Administration. Yes, like all school districts there are areas to improve upon. Yes, the administration and Dr. Marshall are not perfect. However the constant bashing may make you feel rightous but by always and only focusing on the negative your points lose credibility because your point of view is one-sided. There are many wonderful things happening in the district. So many great, harding working teachers. Although MCAS scores do need to improve ( The administration had never denied that) there is more to a great education experience then what is scored on MCAS. Most students who attend NMRHS are talented, kind and creative kids who have attributes that are not scored on MCAS but are important to becoming sucessful and happy adults.Attend a band or chorus performance or a play. Spend the night volunteering at Project Graduation or Relay for Life or chaperone a field trip. Take a good look around at how the students and teachers intereact with each other. Sure look for improvement but give some time to the good things that are happening too. To "delusions of grandeur" most of us are able to read the article just fine and do not need your assistance in paraphrasing JUST what you seem to feel is important.
#4 Sep 28, 2010
Since you are able to read, then you noticed that the comment to which you responded was a reply to a comment about the MCAS scores--and isolated to the MCAS scores. If you want to drum up enthusiasm for the district, teachers, students--be my guest. I am an advocate for some of the outstanding teachers we have within our district and the many students with whom I've worked as a long-time volunteer, chaperoned field trips, etc., etc. To quote you--"I do not need your assistance" while you pontificate about volunteerism and other forms of involvement...you're preaching to the choir.
There are other things we can agree on, too, since you mentioned it...namely, Dr. Marshall is not perfect. And, that reverts back to my initial point...it was about the MCAS scores, not about the district in its entirety. Btw, if you don't like these posts because you deem them "negative," do as others do...read on.
#5 Sep 28, 2010
the column wasn't about the high school. It was about MCAS scores in the district. No one was bashing the high school--they were pointing out that MCAS scores haven't been "steadily improving." Look like the superintendent and her central office staff need to spend a little less time in Quabbin and more time on improving the quality of education for NMRSD students. Looks like that part-time superintendent thing isn't working out that well after all.
#6 Sep 29, 2010
Yes we all know it reverts back to you bashing Dr. Marshall! Same old song and dance that is the point. I do know the column was about MCAS. I DO know it wasn't about the administration but you decided to go on, and on about that as usual! Why don't you write about specific items that need improvement that would help improve scores aside from just blaming the administration. Before your respoond we ALL know it is administration's job to oversee this but we are bored with that preaching about job sharing and spending too much money on admistrators blah, blah blah. How about writing about what specific areas the money should be spent on. How about running for school committee or going back to school for your administrators liscene and apply for the job yourself. If you don't like positive post then read on on too honey!
#7 Sep 29, 2010
If you really want to know the suggestions for improvement that have been made with respect to this district, then you need to get yourself to the meetings that everyone else is attending.
You obviously need to get more engaged, since you are evidently unaware of the proposals--the "specific items," how taxpayer funds should be allocated--that have been made to the administration and school committee and BOS, for that matter. No one's going to do your homework for you, and no one needs to provide an itemization of these proposals in this forum for your benefit--do your homework and get engaged.
The proposals are made in the correct forum, to those who are invested with the authority to affect change. If you want to be part of the group of residents that are putting forth proposals, recommendations, "specific" ideas, then get yourself to the BOS and SC meetings that others are attending.
In the meantime, these forums are intended for the free exchange of commentary--whether it be praise, criticism, questions (in some cases, rhetorical), etc. Don't berate others for the content of their posts (please refrain from addressing me as "my friend" or "honey"--I'm neither.) Be my guest--post your praise for the district, etc. It's your prerogative. Just don't condemn others for a different perspective--everyone's point of view is welcome here.
#8 Sep 29, 2010
Again, don't care if YOU are bored or not...not here to amuse you. Btw, I just love your "positive" posts.
#9 Sep 29, 2010
Improvement!The fact of the matter is that we went down in scores from last year and they can spin it any way they want, but the numbers don't lie.
36%of third graders need improvement or are failing in reading
31%of third graders need improvement or are failing in math
47%of fourth graders need improvement or are failing in ELA
56% of fourth graders need improvement or are failing in math
36%of fifth graders need improvement or are failing in ELA
45% of fifth graders need improvement or are failing in math
41%of fifth graders need improvement or are failing in science and technology
51%of seventh graders need improvement or are failing in math
57 %of eight graders need improvement or are failing in science and technology
All three areas went down in 10th grade.
Three schools, The Spaulding, the Nissitissit and Hawthorne Brook filed to make adequate yearly progress and must submit a a new learning plan to address deficiencies.
Now that's progress???? It's hardly what I would expect from one of the highest paid superintendents in the state, but it is what I might expect from one that is part time.
#10 Sep 29, 2010
"The Spin Stops Here" said, "Three schools, The Spaulding, the Nissitissit and Hawthorne Brook filed to make adequate yearly progress and must submit a a new learning plan to address deficiencies.
Now that's progress???? It's hardly what I would expect from one of the highest paid superintendents in the state, but it is what I might expect from one that is part time."
Good obsevation but it is even more egregious when you consider what "Able to read" said in Post #3,
"Most students who attend NMRHS are talented, kind and creative kids who have attributes that are not scored on MCAS but are important to becoming sucessful and happy adults."
I'm convinced that given the resources that are provided and with the demographics of our district Mr. Potatohead could be a sucessful superintendent at North Middlesex. Yet somehow our performance has been quickly been reduced to the level of Quabbin. There must be a reason?
#11 Sep 29, 2010
I have been to more school comm. meetings as well as town meeting where the school budget has been discussed. Maybe you haven't as often as you want others to believe since the "every one" else you speak about must be in your head since the meetings are not well attended. All opinions are welcome but you only hear your own and that story IS always the same and apparently The posting of opinions that do not agree with your own ruffle your feathers and are labeled off topic. As long as you go on bashing I will go on talking about the positive .I don't give a hoot if you agree or not.
#12 Sep 30, 2010
Since the state is considering eliminating MCAS you may want to start looking for another topic to fixate on. High School graduates in MA got to college with students from all over the country and from other countries who have not taken MCAS.Children in private schools in MA don't take the MCAS either, I just can't imagine how they all get along in life. Many whom become doctors, scientists et. Can you imagine that? Students who do not take MCAS let alone have a proficient score get along in life just fine.
#13 Sep 30, 2010
Sure let's talk about SAT's and AP scores, only darn that information is not publicly accessible by school or district. Children in private schools take other standardize tests. Mine took the PSAT's in 6th and 7th grade and qualified for John Hopkins gifted program. A better education improves your opportunities in life, educators and administrators need to focus on that and not empire building.
#14 Sep 30, 2010
Exactly-MCAS was instituted as an instrument to measure student performance but the real onus is borne by the school district...to ensure that students are receiving a high quality education via the resources provided by teachers, curriculum and district leadership. The real problem emanates from the top--an absence of leadership in central office--which accounts for the inconsistencies in content and instruction (particularly evident at the elementary level.) There are some outstanding teachers in the district, but, lacking the expectation of uniformity in content within a given grade level, it's no wonder that student performance on MCAS hasn't improved. SC Chair Arnie Silva attributes less than stellar student performance to "demographics"--whic h seems to put the blame wrongfully on students, as if they are not capable of a better performance; he's blaming the victim and allowing the usual suspect(s) to evade accountability.
#15 Sep 30, 2010
#16 Sep 30, 2010
It's interesting to see the sudden turn in positives for the NM adminsitration following the release of more mediocre MCAS results.
As a proud parent of NM students I too agree that NM kids are second to none. And I also agree that there are many good teachers, a few who are great. And that's the only reason that the district is holding it's own. Because they are poorly led and poorly served by their leaders.
Like it or not MCAS results are the yardstick used to measure annual progress and it is only the leaders and certains from schools that DON'T make significant annual progress that reject those results. Schools that grow seem to embrace them. Funny how that works isn't it?
Don't forget, MCAS tests do measure how a school or school district measure up against another school or school district. They are designed so that school or district can determine it's own forward progress from year to year.
Individual teachers are responsible for their own classes...classes that are determined for them by administrators and guidance counselors and whose consistancy changes from year to year.
It is up to the building administrators and district administrators to see to it that those teachers have all of the tools (training, support, technology, latest textbooks, etc) they need to do the best they can to educate their charges.
This administration has great about talking and promising about moving NM to a position of educational leadership, but approaching a the half decade mark of its leadership it is still talking as if it just got here. That is in no way due to the fact that within a year of arriving, the adminstration went home to its original district, a district it acknowledged was troubled when it applied to lead NM.
Other diversions, such as the Lunenburg merger - unsought and unwanted beyond the sanctuary of the NM administrative offices and the pursuit of a new high school, with visits to an artificial turf football field, changes from no teams and then back to teams in the middle schools, the inexplicible administrative system at the high school and it's constant turnover, shuffling outstanding NM personnel off to Quabbin, a soaring budget but a loss of programs and teachers along with the chronically medicore MCAS results and promises of what we're going to do to make things better are the reasons that people question this administration.
As far as MCAS and being accepted to college...well, I for one am not clear on your point. Home schooled kids also go on to college, so using your logic, public schools really are not a measure of education either.
#17 Sep 30, 2010
[Should read as below, don't know about anyone else but I've found that letters get dropped between hitting the Post Comment key and when it pops up on the sceen.]
Don't forget, MCAS tests DON'T measure how a school or school district measure up against another school or school district. They are designed so that school or district can determine it's own forward progress from year to year.
#18 Sep 30, 2010
If you have a problem with NM discussioning a merger with a local district then you should complain to our Gov. Patrick not Dr. Marshall or the school com. If you do some research you will find that the push is coming from the Gov. to merge districts(maybe you all missed those articles!) and that is where the push to explore regionalization is from. Research on smaller districts who di regionalize into larger district did not show significant if not any savings as far as tax dollars or money goes although some resources may be shared. Before you blame local admistrators look to Mr. Patrick who has cut funding to schools and now with as the election date closes in is now giving some money back.
#19 Sep 30, 2010
Agree with everything you stated, but, this quote, in particular, succinctly summarized what we're experiencing in NM. The district desperately needs a change in leadership to bring student performance to its full potential.
#20 Sep 30, 2010
I have attended school commitee meetings when a person said they had extensively "volunteered" in the classroom then took their observations and used them to criticize the teachers for inconsistency in assignments, homework etc. during the meeting. I hope their true intentions are disclosed to the teachers when they sign up. Maybe something like, "yes, I would like to volunteer by critquing all that you do, even though I am not an educator by trade and help you out by going to the school commitee meeting and reporting my observations of what a terrible job you are doing educating my child and their classmates too. Their parents are not complaining but maybe they just don't any better but I sure I do! Drat! I missed that check box on the PTA form! I am sure that is the kind of help the teachers are looking for when they ask for "volunteers". Especially so when the person then publishes that letter in the editorial section of the newspaper too, just to get the word out. I hope you don't volunteer under that example.
Regardless of the adminstration's limitations, some real, some imagined NMRSD is producing many wonderfully well-rounded students. If teachers are not being supported by the adminstration then I give them even more of my respect and thanks because they are a very dedicated group of people who conintue to work hard for the sake of our children in spite of it all!
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