Saturday, September 29, 2018

Lynn Classified 'Not Requiring Assistance/Intervention' Per State's New Accountability System

As of this school year, Massachusetts has introduced a revised accountability and assistance system and will no longer be categorizing schools into Levels 1 through 5. Instead, schools will classified as follows:

Schools without Required Assistance or Intervention (85% of Schools):

Reasons for this classification include:
  • Schools of Recognition
  • Those 'Meeting Targets'
  • Those 'Partially Meeting Targets'

Schools Requiring Assistance or Intervention (15% of Schools):

Reasons for this classification include schools/districts requiring either: 
  • Focused/Targeted Support
  • Broad/Comprehensive Support
More specifically, the new accountability takes into account indicators not previously factored into the accountability system including chronic absenteeism and advanced coursework completion and will also have an increased focus on "raising the performance of the school's lowest performing students." In addition to the overall classifications referenced above, schools and districts will also be assigned a percentage that combines information about the chosen indicators into a single number between 0 and 100. In order to be classified as "meeting targets" a school or district must have target percentage of 75% or higher.

In order to get a better sense of this new accountability system, let's take a look at the Lynn Public School District. In 2018, Lynn's overall classification was 'not requiring assistance or intervention' with the reason being 'partially meeting targets.' The percentage assigned to Lynn associated with this partial meeting of goals based on the 0 to 100 scale was 45%.

As you can see, each of the indicators is given a point total from 0 to 4 based on the reported data compared to their state determined target. Though there is some variation in the 0 to 2 point range depending on the category, schools that receive a 3 were considered 'on target' and those that received a 4 exceeded their target. Further, each category is weighted differently. For example, 'Achievement' at the non-high school grade level for all students is weighted at 60% while it is weighted 40% for all students at the high school level due to the additional secondary indicators (high school completion). Overall, Lynn's non-high school results were weighted at 70% while the high school results were weighted as 30%. 

For Lynn's 2018 MCAS scores, see here and the district's drop out rates, here

Most schools within LPS were also classified as 'not requiring assistance or intervention' with the exception of Classical High School, Fecteau-Leary, and Pickering Middle School.

Classical was classified as such because: 
  • It is among the lowest performing 10% of schools (at the 8th percentile)
  • Low subgroup performance for high needs students
  • Low participation rate for English Language Learners and former English Language Learners
Fecteau-Leary required assistance due to its low participation rate among the student body at large and Pickering reported low subgroup performance among Asian students. In terms of meeting targets, Drewicz, Brickett, Callahan, Cobbet, Ford and Lynn Tech were all reported as 'meeting targets.'

KIPP Academy Lynn, a single school district, was also classified as 'partially meeting targets' with a target percentage of 29%.

While there were a number of Massachusetts districts requiring assistance or intervention, most were in the 'Focused/Targeted Support' category; just three districts were in the 'Broad/Comprehensive Support' category (Lawrence, Holyoke, and Southbridge, the state's previously named Level 5 districts).