Norwood Public Schools:
District and State Assessment Information
This page is maintained by Dr. Alexander Wyeth, Assistant Superintendent for the Norwood Public Schools. Suggestions for improvement are always welcome.
How Are Norwood Public Schools Doing?
Based on the 2016 MCAS/PARCC results and other common assessment data, each school leadership team reviews and updates their school's Improvement Plan (see each school website for their improvement plans as well as http://www.norwood.k12.ma.us/about/school-improvement-plans.cfm) and the district leadership team in turn updates the District Strategic Plan (see below).
In Spring of 2017, the Mass Department of Education will be moving to a new state test (MCAS 2.0) that will be a hybrid of the old MCAS and the PARCC tests. For more information go to http://www.doe.mass.edu/mcas/.
Our English Language Learners (ELL) are also required to take the state's ACCESS for ELLs test of English Language Proficiency (which replaced the MEPA tests in 2013). ACCESS assesses the student's skills in listening (15% of composite score), reading (35% of composite score), speaking (15% of composite score), and writing (35% of composite score). The ACCESS results are part of the Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives (AMAO) for ELLs which is part of the state's accountability system that measures ELLs' 1) Progress in Learning the English Language, 2) Attainment of English Language Proficiency, and 3) their Progress in Subject Matter Content as measured by their performance on MCAS tests in ELA, Math, and Science. Our ELL students met their targets in the first two areas. If you think our ELL students are tested a lot, they are indeed! You can see how Norwood's ELLs did by clicking on this link to the Massachusetts State Department of Elementary and Secondary Education: AMAO Results for English Language Learners. To view our district letter sharing our results, click here.
Information on the State's new 2012-2017 accountability system can be found here (PowerPoint presentation by Dr. Wyeth): Progress & Performance Index Results (PPI).
State District and School Reports Cards: Accountability System
Additional performance information on the Norwood Public Schools can be found at The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education District and School Profiles Website. Select "Schools" at top right of page and then use drop down arrow to select one of our schools for their information. Reports Cards are found under the Accountability tab at top of page.
While student performance on standardized tests such as MCAS, SAT, and AP tests are important indicators of student achievement and school success, these tests only measure a narrow range of excellence and are not wholly reliable measures of intelligence and success, and therefore other non-standardized indicators must also be taken into consideration when trying to answer the question "How Are Norwood's Public Schools Doing?" As you can see in the following link, there is considerable extraordinary learning and achievement occurring in our schools: Some Examples of Extraordinary Learning and Achievement.
For information on the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's (DESE) growth model (which began in 2009) and how it works, go to: Growth Model.
Here is a very clear 4 minute YouTube link by MTA that explains how Student Growth Percentiles (SPG) work.
Criteria for DDMs (much like MCAS tests): these assessments must
- be directly aligned to content (or other professional) standards and explicitly assess what they are supposed to;
- be able to accurately show student learning, growth, and achievement from beginning of year (or unit) to end of year (or unit);
- be informative; discriminate between strong and weak performers;
- be free of bias (e.g., vocabulary background knowledge);
- be comparable: equally rigorous across grades and content areas;
- be administered similarly & consistently to all students (there must be a script for all test administrators);
- be scored consistently across the system (the must be a scoring guide for all to use; preferably not scored by the student's own teacher);
- be kept secure for use in subsequent years;
- be relatively stable from year to year.
For more information on District Determined Measures (DDMs), go to: http://www.doe.mass.edu/edeval/sir/
Some Information on Partnership for Assessment of Readiness of College and Careers (PARCC): Partnership includes 12 states and D.C.
MCAS was designed to measure high school proficiency at grade 10; PARCC is designed to assess college readiness at grade 11. PARCC testing will occur in grades 3-11; however, grade 10 students through the Class of 2019 will not take PARCC; they must still pass MCAS for their graduation requirement. Science MCAS tests in grades 5, 8 and 9/10 will continue. For more information see Assistant Superintendent's letter to parents.