Peabody Schools See Slight Improvement on MCAS

This year's MCAS results showed only marginal improvement for Tanner City students overall, and nearly all of it on the science and technology/engineering section, which is still below state average.

According to the 2012 MCAS results released by state education officials Wednesday, Peabody students have made some marginal progress over last year's scores, primarily in science and technology.

On the English Language Arts (ELA) portion of the exam, Peabody again meets the state average of 69 percent for proficient or higher scores, but still trails behind in math by the same margin, which is now 54 percent versus 59.

Science and technology/engineering scores, however, improved to 53 percent for proficient and higher, up from 50 percent overall last year, and now trail the state average by just 1 percent.

The percentage of students in need of improvement for that category has also decreased by 3 points, but is still above the state average, while students in the warning/failing column have remained the same, which is below the state average. In ELA and math, those columns either stayed the same or changed by a point or two.

If you're wondering how the Tanner City did in comparison to some of its North Shore neighbors this time around, here's a look: 

District Proficient or Higher Needs Improvement Warning/ Failing Students Included Peabody ELA 69 24 8 3,136 Peabody Math 54 31 16 3,137 Peabody Sci & Tech/Eng 53 36 11 1,365 Salem ELA 53 31 16 2,384 Salem Math 43 30 27 2,397 Salem Sci & Tech/Eng 37 42 21 962 Beverly ELA 72 22 6 2,249 Beverly Math 59 28 12 2,246 Beverly Sci & Tech/Eng 57 32 11 909

Stay tuned for a more in-depth look at the 2012 scores for Peabody.

Saber Walsh September 21, 2012 at 10:37 AM
Great... only about half our kids are proficient. In Peabody we get new excuses every time this comes out (from "our teachers can't teach in buildings that are 100 years old" to "we have so many bilingual kids that our teachers just can't possibly manage their workload"). Bull. Peabody once had one of the best educational systems around, and over the past 20 years we seem to be more interested in hiring politician superintendents who are expert at "looking good!" than actually fixing the problems. If you doubt this, ask anybody with children in the system now. They will tell you.
Kathleen September 30, 2012 at 04:08 PM
I agree Saber. This is ridiculous. We have been languishing in the bottom of the barrel now for YEARS and all we get are excuses not solutions. Parents in Peabody are fed up. We have been moving in the wrong direction for years, all the while dumping money into the school budget and getting minimal improvements in return. Each year when the scores come out, they are below state average. Same thing with our SAT scores. When is our school administration going to do something about this? Why can we have such a top notch sports program at the high school and not have an equivalently top notch academic program? We are losing great student/athletes to private schools and school choice every year. Our administrators need to wake up and do something about this.
Carl E. September 30, 2012 at 06:01 PM
Kathleen, I agree with you....but only in principle. I don't agree that the problem lies ONLY within the school system. Education is a priority that needs to be passed down from the family, the city AND the school system. I have children at PVMHS and was shocked recently about a couple of things: 1. Parent orientation (meet and greet) with teachers was about two weeks ago. Many of the classes I attended only had 2 or 3 sets of parents in the room. Why are parents not more involved? We all got a connect-ed phone call from the principal about this night, where was everyone? 2. My oldest child (now in a very good college) returned to the high school recently to say "hi" to some former teachers...imagine her surprise when see discovered that over HALF of the teacher's she had not even 2 years ago are GONE. How can we build a strong school system if we can't retain teachers? More importantly, why are so many teachers leaving the system? I thought about this, did some research, and have concluded my next point... 3. We need to attract/retain experienced teachers to our school system. After some research I noticed that our teachers get paid noticably less then some systems in the surrounding communities...and our teachers must pay for their advanced degrees themselves while other districts offer full reimbursement. Could lack of parent involvement (see point 1) have something to do with it as well? This is a PEABODY problem, and PEABODY must work as a whole to fix it.
Kathleen October 01, 2012 at 12:44 AM
Carl, I agree with some of your points. Education begins at home. We as parents are our children's first and most important teachers. We need to instill a love of learning in our children and emphasize the importance of education if they are to succeed in life. When I said that the administration needs to wake up, I meant not only the school department, but the school committee, the mayor and city council as well. I also had a child graduate from the high school. She did very well and is now also attending college at a top-tiered school. However, going through the college process was a real eye opener for all of us. Many of the colleges she applied to told us point blank that they don't recruit from Peabody because of the school's weak SAT/MCAS scores and it's lack of a challenging program. It is very difficult to retain quality teachers when there has been so much turnover at the administrative level. We can't seem to keep a superintendent for any more than a few years so how can we retain classroom teachers? I really feel the problem lies with the school committee, city government and school administrators. My children have had some great teachers in Peabody. The teachers need better leadership. They need a mayor who makes education a top priority for the city. Past mayors have missed out on federal funding for building new schools and have focused on keeping taxes low at the expense of our schools. Paying teachers more isn't the answer. Providing better leadership is.


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