Like nearly every district across the state, the Everett Public Schools Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment (MCAS) results took a dive between 2019 and last year, 2021, the first testing administered during the pandemic.
While some showed some improvement during this past year’s 2022 MCAS, Everett schools did not and in some grade levels actually declined from 2021 to 2022.
For Everett High Grade 10 students, overall MCAS results combined for English (ELA) and Math showing “Meeting or Exceeding Expectations” were 37 percent in 2019. For 2021, the figure plunged to 23 percent in that category.
In the recently released numbers from the 2022 MCAS testing, the “Meeting or Exceeding Expectations” percentage barely moved, going to 24 percent.
The results of the state’s standardized tests from spring 2022 show a slow recovery overall. It appears that the Math and Science scores have stayed similar to last year, though statewide, English writing testing has fallen dramatically and not recovered much at all.
For Everett in Grades 3-8, the overall scores for English (ELA) in the “Not Meeting Expectations” category were just 16.4 percent in 2019. But in 2021, the Not Meeting Expectations category more than doubled, soaring to 37.3 percent. For 2022 this past spring, that category improved a bit, dropping to 30.3 percent, still below the state average.
For Math in Grades 3-8, the percentage in 2019 Not Meeting Expectations was 16.2 percent. It jumped dramatically to 38.6 percent in 2021 and came in at 27.7 percent, a slight improvement, for 2022.
“We may be seeing some early signs of learning recovery, but we’ve always said we think it’s going to take some time” to regain pre-pandemic levels of achievement, Mass. Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Jeffrey Riley said in a press conference earlier this fall on MCAS results.
The Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment Exam is administered every year in grades 3 to 8 and grade 10, but testing was suspended in 2020 due to the pandemic.
Unlike with other years, state officials will not use the 2022 MCAS results to tighten oversight over underperforming schools or districts, Riley said. Instead, these scores will be used as the new “baseline” results against which further progress — or more backsliding — will be measured.
The state uses its MCAS in grade 10 as a graduation requirement and voted this summer to make passing that test more difficult. That new threshold goes into effect in 2024.
State officials said they would help districts implement new interventions aimed at improving student writing as well as continue to offer tutoring and summer academic programs.