Gill-Montague supt. pleased with MCAS results

TURNERS FALLS — The state’s standardized test results went public Friday, solidifying the Gill-Montague Regional School District’s rise from Level 4 underperforming status.

“It is nice to have that distinction removed,” said new Superintendent Michael Sullivan. The initiatives to improve the district will continue, he said.

Sullivan is eager to break down the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System data with administrators and teachers — particularly to look at how a new elementary math program impacted student performance.

The commissioner of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education lifted the district from Level 4 late last month but the new designation remained to be decided, based on the lowest ranking assigned to any of the district’s four schools.

The previous Level 4 designation resulted from a review of the district, and did not reflect the ranking of any individual school.

For the second straight year, Gill Elementary School earned Level 1, the state’s highest academic level. Montague Elementary School scored at Level 3 for a second year and Great Falls Middle and Turners Falls High School received Level 2 rankings.

For grades 8 through 10, “it was nice to see we’re neck-and-neck with state averages across the board,” he said.

The tests are administered to students in grades 3 through 8, and a final time in grade 10.

Among the three elementary school buildings, 40 percent of third-graders scored in the proficient or higher range in reading last school year, compared to 57 percent statewide. In mathematics, 41 percent scored proficient or higher compared to 66 percent statewide. Fourth-graders also performed below the state average, with 36 percent proficient or higher in English and 32 percent at that level in math, compared to 53 and 52 percent statewide.

The gap narrowed in the fifth grade, with 60 percent doing well in English compared to 66 statewide, and 53 percent compared to 61 percent in math.

In the sixth grade, 59 percent scored at the proficient or advanced level in English and 42 percent in math, compared to 67 and 61 percent statewide.

In the seventh grade, 68 percent did well in English, 45 in math, compared to 72 and 52 percent statewide.

Eighth-graders were right on par, with 77 percent and 56 percent scoring proficient or advanced in English and math, respectively, compared to 78 percent and 55 percent statewide. Tenth-graders tied the statewide number in English, with 91 percent proficient or higher, and 84 percent performing at that level in math, 4 percentage points above average.

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