The designation places PVMHS among the highest performing high schools in Massachusetts, which essentially means students are meeting their progress goals. There are additional factors to the school's annual Cumulative Progress and Performance Index assessment now, but MCAS results are a significant piece of that.
According to state data released earlier this month, 92 percent of PVMHS students scored proficient or higher on the English Language Arts exam. The state average was 91 percent.
On math and science/technology and engineering, however, students slightly trailed the state average. Peabody students scored 79 percent proficient or higher on math -- the state average was 80 percent -- while they scored 69 percent on science versus an average of 71 percent.
In the category of Needs Improvement, Peabody students were 1 point higher than the state average of 13 percent on math and 4 points higher than the average of 24 percent. Math scores broke even with the average of 7 percent in the Warning/Failing category.
This year's scores do represent an improvement over 2012 results: tenth-graders scored 87 percent proficient or higher on ELA (the state average was 88 percent), 76 percent on math (state average was 78 percent) and 66 percent on science (state average was 69 percent).
PVMHS was likewise rated a Level 1 school in 2012. During a review of MCAS data last fall, retired Principal Ed Sapienza chalked up the top rating in part due to the success of the partnership with the Mass. Math and Science Initiative on Advanced Placement courses. He said that has buoyed the entire academic culture at the school.
To further put the data into perspective, take a look at how PVMHS and some neighboring public high schools fared in comparison on the 2013 MCAS and how they are rated.
Peabody Veterans Memorial High School (Level 1)
- ELA: 92, Math: 79, Science: 69
- ELA: 91, Math: 86, Science: 81
- ELA: 84, Math: 64, Science: 64
- ELA: 91, Math: 81, Science: 76
- ELA: 98, Math: 97, Science: 95