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Yes, They Can!


Too few students ever graduate from college. ... Too Few Ninth Graders Graduate High School ... Graduate students who are career and college-ready ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Yes, They Can!

Yes, They Can!
  • The Massachusetts Story of Reform, Expectations,
    Achievement and Challenges
  • David P. Driscoll
  • Commissioner of Education
  • November 4, 2006

The Massachusetts Story of Reform
  • A Nation At Risk was national call for change
  • Education Reform Act of 1993 called for sweeping
    reform and held everyone accountable
  • Unparalleled Legislative support
  • Created standards and assessment system
  • Refused to bend on standards or expectations
  • Critics predicted skyrocketing dropouts and high
    failure rates..

.They were wrong.
Whats Been Accomplished in Massachusetts?
  • 1993-1995
  • Finance and Governance Reforms
  • 1996-2000
  • Articulation of Standards Assessments
  • 2001-2003
  • Student School Accountability
  • 2004 and Beyond
  • Capacity Building/Targeted Assistance

Our Success Is Evident In Our Numbers
  • In 2005, MA was first state to ever have the
    highest scaled scores on the NAEP Reading and
    Math exams in Grades 4 and 8 in the same year.
  • In 2006, 59 of 10th graders scored Proficient or
    Advanced in both ELA and Math
  • In 2006, 84 of 10th graders earned their CD on
    their first try, up from 68 in 2001 and just 48
    in 2000.
  • SAT scores rose for 14 straight years until they
    declined in 2006.
  • For the first time, our achievement gap is
    beginning to close.

Massachusetts By The Numbers
Numbers Show That Our Population Is Changing
Percentage of Gr. 10 Students Earning CD On
First Attempt 2001 2006
Gr. 10 CD Attainment Results Show Steady Progress
Since 2001
Percentage of Gr. 10 Students Scoring Proficient
or Above in ELA by Race
Percentage of Gr. 10 Students Scoring Proficient
or Above in Math by Race
Percentage of Gr. 10 Students Scoring Proficient
in ELA and Math by Race 2001- 2006
Percentage of Gr. 10 Students Scoring Proficient
on Gr. 10 ELA and Math Urban vs. Non-Urban
Is the Achievement Gap Closing? Ask these kids...
OBryant High School students from Boston
celebrate with Mayor Menino and Gov. Romney after
learning theyve received the Adams Scholarship.
Or These Kids
Adams Scholarship recipients get free in-state
college tuition for high MCAS performance.
Or These Kids
Students and teachers at the Dorchester Education
Complex celebrated when they learned their MCAS
performance made their school one of the top five
most improved in the state.
Or These Kids, Who Both Immigrated To The U.S.
With Limited English Skills
Nara moved to the U.S. from Uruguay in 2001. She
graduated 8th in her Fitchburg High School class
in 2006. She attends Fitchburg State College.
Adilson is 19 and came to the U.S. from Cape
Verde 14 months ago. He has already earned his CD
and met all requirements for graduation from New
Bedford High School.
But Our Work Is Not Finished
  • Tenth grade performance has increased each year
    but 2006 was the second year in a row we saw
    slight declines in the lower grades.
  • The achievement gap is getting narrower, but is
    still far from closed. Graduation rates are
    unacceptably low for all students, especially
    Blacks and Hispanics.
  • Too few students graduate from high school
    college ready.
  • Too few students ever graduate from college.
  • The bottom line MA may be at the top nationally,
    but we are far from the top globally.

Nationally We Are Losing Too Many Students In
the Educational Pipeline
9th Graders Earning BA
Sources National Center for Public Policy
Higher Education, Policy Alert, April 2004.
Too Few Ninth Graders Graduate High School
Source Manhattan Institute Public High School
Graduation and College-Readiness Rates
19912002, February 2005
Among High School Graduates, Too Few Are College
Source Manhattan Institute, Public High School
Graduation and College-Readiness Rates
19912002, February 2005, http//www.manhattan-ins
Globally, Massachusetts and the Nation are Far
Behind 1999 TIMMS Results
  • Grade 8 Math
  • Singapore 604
  • Korea 587
  • Chinese Taipei 585
  • Hong Kong 582
  • Japan 579
  • Belgium 558
  • Netherlands 540
  • Hungary 532
  • Slovakia 534
  • Canada 531
  • Slovenia 530
  • Russia 526
  • Australia 525
  • Czech Rep., Finland 520
  • Malaysia 519
  • Massachusetts 513
  • United States 502
  • International Avg. 487

Grade 8 Science Chinese Taipei 569 Singapore 56
8 Hungary 552 Japan 550 Korea 549 Netherland
s 545 Australia 540 Czech Rep. 539 Finland,
Slovakia 535 Massachusetts 533 United
States 515 International Avg. 488
Source TIMSS 1999
What Did We Do Right in Massachusetts?
  • We set the Right Standard for High School
  • We have had unity among State Leaders
  • Our Assessment System is Fair and Transparent
  • Resources for Academic Support

We Started Slow, And Set The Right Standard
  • We began by tackling English and Math only
    rolled out other tests later.
  • Administered English and Math exams for 3 years
    before they counted
  • Set the Goldilocks passing score not too high,
    not too low.
  • Board of Education just voted to increase
    requirements to push more students to Proficient.

Unity Among State Legislators and Business Leaders
  • Initial commitment from business community
  • 4 Republican Governors and Democratic Legislature
    (and counting)
  • Stability of State Board of Education and
  • Support of urban superintendents
  • Ongoing support of business groups
  • Mass Insight
  • MassINC
  • Foundation for Partnerships
  • MassPartners

We Created A Fair and Transparent System
  • Test questions, rubrics and anchor papers
  • Student reports include item by item results
  • MCAS Alternate Assessment Portfolio Program
  • MCAS Appeals process
  • Focused Retest
  • Academic Support Grants
  • Certificate of Attainment for kids who dont pass

The Next Phase of Education Reform Has To Be
  • Get students engaged in their learning
  • Graduate students who are career and
  • Address social and emotional barriers to learning
  • More parental support
  • Longer school day/year

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