Middleboro MCAS – demographics in action

By , November 13, 2014 12:41 pm

mcasAccording to a formula that is mysterious to me, my Middleboro Gazette column shows up in the online edition only occasionally. The stars have aligned this week and this week’s column is on-line:

To get a feel for how Middleboro schools perform, I compared them to the state average and to the bordering districts of Bridgewater-Raynham, Carver, Freetown-Lakeville and Wareham. I looked at the percentage of students testing either “advanced” or “proficient” and averaged the Math, English, and Science MCAS scores.

In the very first year testing is done — grade 3 — Middleboro is the second best. In grade four we drop to worst. Thereafter we are battling Wareham for last place. Lakeville and Bridgewater are the best in show. Carver, Middleboro, and Wareham all lag behind the state average, with Carver being a teeny bit better than Middleboro and Wareham.

In addition to the comparison and numbers I dig a little deeper to see how Middleboro compares with the non-low income subgroup and look at how our town’s demographics come into play.

8 Responses to “Middleboro MCAS – demographics in action”

  1. Rich P says:

    Very informative article Mark and to the point. My only disappointment is I don’t have any argument to add to this reply to make the conversation more interesting. (REF: Expanded Bottle Bill…No-brainer..Ha Ha)

  2. bumpkin says:

    Yup. I certainly have a different mindset on the bottle bill than most people. My real issue is litter. You might be old enough to remember the anti-litter PSA’s that were on TV all the time – like the famous crying indian one. http://bit.ly/1xxDktA
    We need a new round of PSA’s and/or fines to keep all these cretins from hucking their garbage out of their car windows. What kind of A-hole do you have to be to chuck a bag of McDonald’s bags, cups, etc out your window onto the side of the road?

  3. Rich P says:

    I totally agree with your last comment about the littering and yes I do remember that PSA. I think PSA’s are the way to go since it is a relative few that do most of the littering and I hate laws that punish 95% of the people for the idiot 5%. Recycling is so great now at curbside, if we can somehow get that message out, it will benefit all.. I didn’t mean to harp on your last blog again, I was praising you for this one…

  4. bumpkin says:

    We’re good Rich – I think we can safely goof on one another without worrying about the other getting overly sensitive.

  5. Richard P. Jr says:

    Sorry but Middleboro schools are not much more then a Massachusetts joke. There will be more trash issues as curbside pick up will cost most more. Lead to more littering and trash burning.

  6. bumpkin says:

    Richard P. Jr – I would advise you to analyze the numbers like I have. They are about what one would expect with the demographics we have. There is a good honors program and a vast selection of AP courses at the HS level. Sure the schools need some work – all school districts do – but expecting Middleboro to perform like Cohasset or Duxbury is not realistic. We have far far more kids with low income and special needs.

  7. Richard P. Jr says:

    Demographics? Plenty of school with similar demographics doing way better. I am going on state assessment you can get on their website. They state town is not even meeting minimum improvement standards. You get yours from officials and board vesting in sugar coating the truth. The problem is not top 1 or 3 percent(AP course students). Problem is all the rest! Warning we got in mail from Mass Department of education stating we could opt out of town and go to surrounding town. Middleboro could not even meet improvement standard? A standard below average. I save letter if you want it. Told us Middleboro school were so bad we could go to Carver. So Massachusetts Department of education is wrong? Delusional much? Or just following what you been told by school official who do not want to point out their own failure? Demographic point is a cop out and excuse when you have none. Some work? That is understatement of the year. Plenty of schools with twice the student HS body doing better. Some with more then twice the amount. Making your point moot! Schools are a joke! In fact MA education website states they do not even meet the average for similar demographics. We agree to disagree and I will go with states assessment.

  8. bumpkin says:

    Name a “school with similar demographics doing way better”. You say there are plenty of them – so name a school system, that has similar demographics, and is “doing way better” through all the grades. I get my data from Mass DOE not from “officials and board vesting in sugar coating the truth”. Demographics are not a cop out and speaking of delusional, you are living in a fantasy land if you expect Middleboro schools to perform like Duxbury schools. It is ALL about demographics. With more money you have lower divorce rates, lower rates of single parent households, higher percentages of parents who are college educated, lower rates of health problems, lower rates of obesity, lower rates of substance abuse problems. Every single facet of life that contributes to an environment that fosters good school performance is affected positively by higher income demographics. You should take some of your anger and turn into something constructive by volunteering on one of the town committees. It’s easy to sit there and criticize from the sidelines and engage in conspiracy theories about people volunteering on committees or working in town government. You might learn something if you pull your share of the load.

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