2019 Accountability Targets and MCAS Results

Salem Public Schools makes substantial progress on 2019 Accountability Targets and MCAS Results

The Salem Public Schools made substantial progress toward meeting its accountability targets on the recently released 2019 Statewide Accountability Report. SPS received an overall score of 61 percent, representing a cumulative amount of progress made over the last two years, which is an increase of two percent over the 2018 percentage of 59 percent.

For 2019 alone, results were even higher – 63 percent of progress toward targets.

The new system, which was implemented last year,measures progress on annual targets that are set for each accountability indicator, including student achievement, student growth, high school completion, English language proficiency, and additional indicators such as chronic absenteeism. Districts that make progress on 50 percent or more of their annual targets are identified as having made “substantial progress” by the state.

Bates Elementary School, Bentley Academy Charter School, Carlton Innovation School, and Salem High School achieved the state's benchmark for making substantial progress in the new accountability system. Salem High School's significant improvements have moved the school out of the "in need of targeted support and intervention" classification.

“The marked improvements in the 2019 Statewide Accountability Report show our district is headed in the right direction as we work across departments and schools to ensure every child is prepared for success on the MCAS and beyond,” said Superintendent Kathleen Smith. “Our hard working teachers and staff redoubled their efforts to support student learning in classrooms across the city. We had a strong start to this school year and we will continue this upward trajectory.”

By the state’s measure (of scoring 50 percent or higher), the district made substantial progress for both student categories in the non-high school grades as well as in the lowest performing student category in the high school grades.

“These positive results affirm the benefits of a strong curriculum and supporting resources along with the collaboration across many stakeholders including our talented educators, parents, and school leaders,” said Assistant Superintendent Kate Carbone. “We are looking forward to sharing more details on our results on October 7 at the next regular school committee meeting.”

A detailed breakdown of the results is available below.

progress by grade

  • Additional highlights from the 2019 accountability and MCAS results:

  • The district is continuing to make progress toward meeting its accountability targets for all students, lowest performing students, as well as with other subgroups.
    • For Grades 3-8, SPS saw increases in points earned for achievement in the “All Students” category from the previous year, as well as in points earned for reducing chronic absenteeism.
    • For Grade 10, SPS saw increases in student achievement and growth for both categories of students, as well as the high school completion indicator.
  • Salem continues to show steady improvement in its English Language Arts (ELA)MCAS results over the last few years. This year, we saw significant gains in third grade ELA results indicating increased literacy in the early grades.
    • Percentage of students who are meeting or exceeding expectations increased from 38% in 2017 to 41% in 2019.
    • Average scaled scores also increased from 492.7 in 2017 to 496.2 in 2019.
    • In Grade 3, percentage of students meeting or exceeding expectations increased significantly from 32% in 2017 to 48% in 2019 and average scaled scores went from 490.8 in 2017 to 499.4 in 2019.
    • Scaled scores in ELA increased for all grade levels except for Grade 6. However Grade 6 and Grade 8 both saw an increase in the percentage of students meeting or exceeding expectations.
    • ELA performance has increased for all subgroups, at every grade level since 2017.


  • Salem High School is no longer classified as in need of targeted support and intervention and made good progress on meeting its targets for achievement, student growth, and high school completion.

    The high school showed a significant increase in its percentage progress toward targets in both the “All Students” and “Lowest Performing Student” categories.

    • The high school also improved progress on targets across most of its subgroups.


  • There were positive gains in Math performance for English learners, Hispanic, and Multi-racial subgroups
    • Percentage meeting or exceeding expectations increased for English learners, Hispanic, and Multi-racial subgroups.
    • Scaled scores increased for English Learners and Hispanic subgroups.
  • Grade 5 saw gains with Science CPI increasing from 67.8 in 2017 to 72.9 in 2019.
    • Performance in some subgroups for science increased as well over the last two years with the largest increase noted for Students with Disabilities (up 6.3 points since 2018) and students who are of Hispanic origin (up 5.9 points from 2018).
    • High needs and economically disadvantaged students also increased their performance on the science assessments.


  • Five Salem schools scored over 50% on their cumulative percentage progress toward targets, which is the state’s benchmark for making “substantial progress” in the new accountability system: Horace Mann Laboratory School (83%); Bates Elementary School (68%); Salem High School (52%); Bentley Academy Charter School (52%); and Carlton Innovation School (50%)
    • Three of these schools increased their Accountability Percentile Ranking as well: Bates (from 18 in 2018 to 28 in 2019), Horace Mann Laboratory School (from 36 to 42), and Salem High School (from 9 to 14).

Results are available on the state website at http://profiles.doe.mass.edu/accountability/report/district.aspx?linkid=30&orgcode=02580000&orgtypecode=5&. A detailed presentation on the results will be given during the Regular School Committee meeting scheduled for October 7, 2019 at 7 p.m.

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