Investing in Innovation (i3) Grant Winner

 

October 2015

 

English High School in Boston Posts Huge Gains in Math and English Test Scores

 

Tenth-graders at The English High School, a Diplomas Now partner school in Boston, have shown tremendous increases in math and English scores on state standardized tests. In math, students' scores have jumped from just 36 percent proficient or advanced to 66 percent. Similarly, 84 percent of students are proficient or advanced in English, compared to just 50 percent last year.

 

The English went from having 34 percent of students in the bottom tier in math last year to only 12 percent this year, and from just 13 percent of students in the top tier in 2014 to 32 percent in that range this spring. 

 

On the English part of the test, only 5 percent fell into the lowest tier this year. Last year, no 10th graders scored in the advanced range while this year, 10 percent did.

 

The jump in math scores on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) test was so dramatic that the state officials withheld the math scores from September's release of data from schools across the state. But after a state investigation validated the results, Mitchell D. Chester, commissioner of elementary and secondary education, approved their release last week.  "They are an accurate reflection of what these students have achieved," Chester told the Boston Globe.

 

 

For years, the threat of a state takeover loomed at The English. Diplomas Now has been operating at The English since 2011. René Patten, the school's school transformation facilitator, said the weekly review of data on student performance, attendance and behavior played a huge role in the turnaround.

 

"The school community took ownership of the early-warning-indicator meetings structured by Talent Development Secondary and created student-focused interventions that directly impacted teaching and learning," said Patten.  "The interventions were implemented and monitored weekly by the teacher teams. The analysis of ABC intervention data profoundly impacted the school's ability to move students forward in their academic gains. When early-warning-indicator structures were coupled with the support of City Year corps members in classrooms, teachers were able to ensure that students were able to make significant progress in their content area skill sets. As the school became keenly focused on using data to drive all decision-making in our teaching and learning plans, we were rewarded consistently with student achievement. We learned how to enact the Diplomas Now motto of, 'The right intervention for the right student at the right time' and the payoffs are clear in this year's MCAS scores."

 

 

 

 

 

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