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Achievement on the rise

New Accountability System Shows Academic Improvements
Posted on 10/01/2019
Students’ overall academic performance continues to improve, leading the state to classify every Springfield Public School as having made progress towards its academic goals, Superintendent of Schools Daniel Warwick announced. 

“We are so very pleased with the progress towards improvement that continues to be made in our schools and we are ecstatic that the entire district can share in this achievement. We still have work to do but this is cause for celebration,” said Warwick. 

Warwick made his remarks following the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s (DESE) release of statewide accountability results earlier today. The results mark the second year of the state’s new accountability system. According to information released by the state, Springfield’s percentage for 2018-2019 is 52 percent, which constitutes “substantial progress towards targets.”

Under the accountability system, anything 50 percent or higher represents “real improvement,” according to remarks made by DESE Associate Commissioner of Data and Accountability Robert Curtin during a conference call with superintendents prior to the data’s public release. 

“That’s a good foundation to continue building upon,” said Warwick.

In addition to the district’s overall performance, DESE also announced that John J. Duggan Academy has exited what had previously been labeled as “Level 4” status, having achieved an accountability percentile of 15.

In addition, the state classified the High School of Science and Technology as having made “substantial progress towards targets,” particularly in the areas of English Language Arts and math.  The state also reported that South End Middle School, which had dramatic gains, “met or exceeded” their progress towards targets, particularly in English Language Arts, math and science. 

Students, staff, families and the community all share in taking credit for students’ continued improvement, according to Warwick. “All of it is encouraging and validating of the hard work that goes on in our buildings every single day. We are experiencing growth as a whole and are also thrilled at the many successes taking place at the school-based level,” he said. 

For example, Warwick pointed out that the High School of Commerce, particularly the Honors Academy there, and the district’s alternative school programming both produced encouraging improvements under the state’s accountability system.  “The needle is moving in the right direction,” he said. 

Warwick also stated that the overarching goal of the district continues to be the narrowing of the achievement gap.  The state’s classification of substantial progress towards targets indicates that the gaps continue to close, he said.  
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