, Salem, MA

Local News

October 23, 2013

Officials: Danvers students are making strides


Highlands School made a 2 percentage point progress in meeting its goal in an area of the test called “number sense.”

Riverside School met its goal of increasing math scores with a 6 percentage point jump, but it also fell short in cutting the achievement gap goal. Smith School looked to increase points students earned on open-response questions on the MCAS, with a goal that students would get 60 percent of the possible points. The students got 57 percent of the possible points.

Thorpe School met its goal of a 5 percent MCAS bump with a 7.25 percent increase in scores from 2012 to 2013. The school decreased its achievement gap by 6 percentage points, Wermers said.

Holten Richmond Middle School met goals for increasing the possible points students gained on open-response questions in math and English. Danvers High did work toward its accreditation process as part of its goals, Wermers said.

Other highlights from the MCAS test include Danvers grade 3 students seeing a 12 percentage point year-over-year increase in math MCAS scores, compared with the state average increase of 5 percentage points. Grade 5 English scores jumped 11 percentage points, while state scores increased by 5 percentage points.

While grade 8 English scores improved by only 1 percentage point, the state average saw a 3 percentage point drop. Grade 8 science saw a 3 percentage point gain, while the state dropped by two percentage points. Grade 10 saw a 6 percentage point increase, while the state saw a 2 percentage point increase.

Some of the challenges include grade 5, where science fell 5 points below the state average, and grade 6 math fell 4 points below the state average.

“I don’t put an over amount of emphasis on MCAS, because I don’t think we should,” School Committee member Arthur Skarmeas said, adding that he does not put a lot of stock in MCAS test results or growth statistics that are hard to fathom.

Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at or on Twitter at @DanverSalemNews.

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