Officials laud jump in Wareham High School's MCAS scores

By Matthew Bernat | Oct 25, 2017
Photo by: Matthew Bernat Wareham High School Principal Scott Palladino, left, listens at Wednesday's School Committee meeting after discussing the school's MCAS results. Seated at right is Wareham Middle School Principal Peter Steedman.

School Committee members celebrated the news that Wareham High School students’ academic performance is on the rise based on recently released MCAS scores.

“I think you’ll continue to see growth in those areas,” said Wareham High School Principal Scott Palladino on Wednesday. “I’m excited about what’s going on across the board.”

The scores, which were released publicly on Oct. 18, boosted the school’s state assigned status from Level 3 to Level 2. As a Level 2 school, it is still not quite meeting its state mandated goals for student proficency in English language arts and mathematics.

For a school to reach Level 1 status, it must score a 75 in “performance and progress” for all students as well as special education students. That category compares changes in students’ MCAS scores year-to-year against MCAS scores of other students with similar scores. It’s used to measure a school district’s progress in meeting proficiency standards.

Spring 2017 MCAS scores show that all students scored a 69 and high-needs students scored a 71 in performance and progress. The latter score is up 15 points compared to last year.

“I can believe we’re finally seeing results with the proficiency gap,” said Judy Caporiccio. “The special education students’ improvement in science is totally amazing.”

Committee member Geoff Swett agreed.

“I think it’s a phenomenal performance,” said Swett.

Of all the district’s schools, Wareham High where students still took the traditional MCAS test. The state is requiring 10th grade students to keep taking that version until 2019. Students in grades three through eight all took a revamped MCAS, called the Next Generation test, which has more rigorous standards.

Because this is the first year the Next Generation test was issued, other district schools were not assigned a level rating.

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