LEXINGTON – Minuteman High School improved its performance on state MCAS tests this year, with that improvement extending to all disciplines and all student subgroups. Results of the test were reported this month by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).
As a result of the continued MCAS improvement, Minuteman regained its Level 1 Accountability Rating from the state. Each year, DESE rates all schools and school districts in Massachusetts from Level 1 to Level 5, with Level 1 being the best.
“In most cases, the improvement was consistent with the strides we made last year,” said William J. Blake, Jr., Minuteman’s Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment. “As a result, we have reestablished our Level 1 Accountability Rating.”
“Improvement continues to be particularly significant for our students with disabilities,” Blake said. “In ELA and Math, we achieved 10% increase for Special Education students in the Advanced category and a 9% increase in Biology Advanced for students with disabilities.”
Minuteman is believed to have the highest percentage of students receiving Special Education services of any public school in Massachusetts. Approximately 47% of the students at Minuteman are classified as Students with Disabilities. The state average is about 17%.
“Our students in the high needs category exceeded the state average in every standard and question type in ELA and Science. In Math, students in the high needs category exceeded the state average in 15/18 standards,” he said.
Mr. Blake said scores in English Language Arts are just one percentage point below the highest in Minuteman school history with a 100% pass rate and 96% of students rating Advanced or Proficient. Once again this year, students with disabilities exceeded the state average in every standard and question type in ELA. Their open-response performance improved by 5%.
On the Mathematics test, Minuteman students achieved a 95% first-time pass rate, with 79% scoring Advanced or Proficient, a 6% increase from a year ago and the highest percentage of Math Advanced and Proficient in recent history (since 1999). Students with disabilities exceeded the state average in 17 of 18 math strands; their performance on short-answer questions exceeded the state level by 9%. Their open-response performance improved by 5%, exceeding the state by 12%.
In Biology, Minuteman achieved a 99% pass rate, a 1% increase from 2015. Some 77% of those taking the Biology test scored Advanced or Proficient, a 7% increase from 2015. Performance in Biology increased for all items, question types and topics. Students in the economically disadvantaged category exceeded the state average in all items, question types, and 7 of 8 Biology topics. Students with disabilities improved in all areas and exceeded the state average in all items, question types, and topics.
Minuteman students who took the Chemistry exam had a 100% pass rate, the same as in 2015, with 76% scoring Advanced or Proficient. Students scored higher than the state percentages in 10 of 11 reporting categories. Open-response performance increased by 5%. In Chemistry, the student subgroups were too small to meet the reporting threshold.
Minuteman is an award-winning regional high school located in Lexington.
Minuteman gives students a competitive advantage by delivering robust academics and powerful career and technical skills in more than one dozen career majors. This combination gives students a competitive edge in the new economy.