The percentage of students considered proficient on of the state's 10th grade math test, the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS).
Students must pass the 10th grade MCAS math and English tests in order to graduate high school. Math skills are critical to a variety of careers and important for life skills ranging from budgeting and smart shopping to understanding the news.
In 2019, 55% of 10th graders passed the state's math exam, a bit below the state 2019 passing rate of 59%. Passing rates lagged in Lawrence (31%), Greater Lawrence Regional Vocational (34%) and Lynn (38%). The highest passing rates were in Hamilton-Wenham (88%), Georgetown (87%) and Andover (81%).
Passing rates in 2019 were lower among some groups, including economically disadvantaged students and Hispanic students (both at 33%), and African American students (43%).
Essex County's passing rate was below the 68% passing rate of Middlesex, MA.
Studies point to a variety of factors believed to contribute to disparities in test scores and other measures of student achievement. School systems in the United States are highly segregated, and students of color disproportionately attend schools with high proportions of low-income students who may not have benefited from early learning opportunities at the same rate as other students. Schools also have different levels of resources ranging from qualified/experienced teachers to advanced courses to facilities and technology, and schools with large Black and Latino populations often have lower levels. In addition, teachers across all school systems tend to be disproportionately white, and teaching practices and curriculum may not be culturally relevant to students of color.
As assessments vary among states, it is not possible to include comparable data for the nation or other areas in this indicator.
In 2019, next-generation MCAS tests were administered. These next-generation achievement levels differ from the legacy MCAS achievement levels and are reported using a different scale. The next-generation achievement levels are designed to provide an indication of whether a student is on track to succeed in the subject matter and whether extra academic assistance may be needed for the student. Results from the next-generation grade 10 ELA and math tests, which were first administered in 2019, are not comparable to results from prior years.