Racial Equity
Student Performance on Grade 10 English, by Student Subgroup
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Source: Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education

What does this measure?

The percentage of students considered proficient on of the state's tenth grade English Language Arts test, the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS).

Why is this important?

Students must pass the tenth grade MCAS math and English tests in order to graduate high school. Mastery of communication skills, including reading, writing, speaking and listening, is critical for success at college and in the workplace.

How is our county performing?

In 2023, 56% of tenth graders passed the state's language arts exam, down five points from 2019 and slightly lower than the 2023 state passing rate of 58%. Proficiency was lower among Hispanic or Latino (34%), economically disadvantaged (35%), and African American or Black (40%) students compared to those who are White (63%), not economically disadvantaged (72%), or Asian (80%). Proficiency decreased slightly for White, Black and Asian students, while rates for Hispanic, economically advantaged and economically disadvantaged students remained steady.

Among school districts in the County, 11 had passing rates of 70% or higher and three had a rate of 30% or lower in 2023. Passing rates were highest in Northborough-Southborough (89%) and lowest in Webster (21%) and Southbridge (19%).

It is important to note that standardized educational tests like the MCAS do not offer a full picture of the performance and/or abilities of a student. It is crucial to contextualize these data in contrast with other social factors that can have a deep impact on student performance and learning.

Why do these disparities exist?

Studies point to a variety of factors believed to contribute to disparities in test scores and other measures of student achievement nationwide. Most school systems in the United States are highly segregated, and Black and Latino students disproportionally attend schools with high proportions of low-income students and lower levels of resources such as access to early learning opportunities, experienced teachers, advanced courses, and modern technology and facilities. In addition, teachers across all school systems in the nation tend to be disproportionately White, and the cultural relevance of teaching practices and curriculum may vary.

Notes about the data

As assessments vary among states, it is not possible to include comparable data for the nation or other areas in this indicator.

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education did not administer Spring 2020 MCAS for the 2019-2020 school year due to the cancellation of state assessments and school closures related to COVID-19.

In 2019, next-generation MCAS tests were administered. These next-generation achievement levels differ from the legacy MCAS achievement levels and are reported using a different scale. The next-generation achievement levels are designed to provide an indication of whether a student is on track to succeed in the subject matter and whether extra academic assistance may be needed for the student. Results from the next-generation grade 10 ELA and math tests, which were first administered in 2019, are not comparable to results from prior years.

Percent of Students Passing Grade 10 Reading, 2023
All StudentsAsianBlack or African AmericanEconomically DisadvantagedHispanic or LatinoNot Economically DisadvantagedWhite
Worcester County56%80%40%35%34%72%63%
Worcester School District36%47%33%29%28%58%49%
Athol-Royalston School District37%24%29%62%39%
Clinton School District35%32%19%40%43%
Fitchburg School District30%71%23%21%22%56%37%
Gardner School District40%27%38%63%39%
Northbridge School District60%46%65%70%57%
Southbridge School District19%15%11%35%35%
Spencer-East Brookfield School District39%31%17%50%45%
Webster School District21%12%10%41%26%
Westborough School District87%95%56%48%92%87%
Massachusetts58%79%42%39%36%73%67%
Additional Worcester County school districts
Quabbin School District69%38%81%70%
Abby Kelley Foster Charter Public District72%72%66%57%78%100%
The Sizer School: A North Central Charter Essential District46%38%20%55%52%
Ashburnham-Westminster School District59%45%64%59%
Auburn School District64%92%54%47%67%65%
Berlin-Boylston School District87%78%90%87%
Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical80%67%74%83%80%
Blackstone-Millville School District54%30%70%64%53%
Douglas School District62%38%67%63%
Dudley-Charlton Regional School District50%34%25%60%52%
Grafton School District72%92%44%42%78%71%
Harvard School District87%90%50%93%92%
Hopedale School District75%52%45%86%80%
Leicester School District47%29%33%59%51%
Leominster School District45%50%35%32%35%61%56%
Lunenburg School District61%44%38%68%64%
Mendon-Upton School District68%60%67%69%68%
Milford School District55%60%39%43%75%60%
Millbury School District50%39%35%57%51%
Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical66%60%57%71%67%
Narragansett School District55%40%66%56%
Nashoba School District82%92%52%52%86%86%
North Brookfield School District38%33%35%33%
Northborough-Southborough School District89%95%68%74%91%90%
Oxford School District47%29%26%65%53%
Shrewsbury School District77%90%65%42%51%86%78%
Southern Worcester County Regional Vocational Technical,51%46%45%54%52%
Sutton School District60%25%69%64%
Uxbridge School District53%41%40%58%53%
Wachusett School District74%91%64%57%59%78%75%
Quaboag Regional School District65%47%80%67%
West Boylston School District54%23%66%57%
Winchendon School District40%24%57%47%

Source: Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education




Number of Students Passing Grade 10 Reading, 2023
All StudentsAsianBlack or African AmericanEconomically DisadvantagedHispanic or LatinoNot Economically DisadvantagedWhite
Worcester County5,1564331901,4097093,7443,466
Worcester School District65163109384225267218
Athol-Royalston School District401662431
Clinton School District412271930
Fitchburg School District9512650404527
Gardner School District7131184042
Northbridge School District6821114747
Southbridge School District23148914
Spencer-East Brookfield School District301321725
Webster School District21841311
Westborough School District2771082511252146
Massachusetts41,1064,0452,84211,4516,00929,65526,424
Additional Worcester County school districts
Quabbin School District82136976
Abby Kelley Foster Charter Public District583429132911
The Sizer School: A North Central Charter Essential District221021217
Ashburnham-Westminster School District90187281
Auburn School District110112788382
Berlin-Boylston School District58144445
Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical2454323202206
Blackstone-Millville School District50874240
Douglas School District4253740
Dudley-Charlton Regional School District1082858095
Grafton School District16223178145122
Harvard School District73966756
Hopedale School District481153740
Leicester School District431053334
Leominster School District2047138470120105
Lunenburg School District621255054
Mendon-Upton School District1101589597
Milford School District1746674810799
Millbury School District621864443
Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical2419641145170
Narragansett School District52173545
Nashoba School District169121211157145
North Brookfield School District8575
Northborough-Southborough School District265422120244189
Oxford School District471553235
Shrewsbury School District341126133828303162
Southern Worcester County Regional Vocational Technical,1575319104129
Sutton School District5555053
Uxbridge School District591344650
Wachusett School District3692094924320306
Quaboag Regional School District53183549
West Boylston School District2632321
Winchendon School District3092128

Source: Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education







INDICATORS TREND
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Establishments 1
Increasing
Average Charitable Contribution 0
Maintaining
Households With Internet Access 1
Increasing
Protected Land 10 Not Applicable*
Voter Participation Rate -1
Decreasing
Voter Registration Rate 0
Maintaining
Arrest Rate by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Change in Total Population 1
Increasing
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Foreign-Born Population 1
Increasing
Language Diversity 1
Increasing
Population by Age -1
Decreasing
Households by Type 0
Maintaining
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Median Household Income 0
Maintaining
Household Income by Race/Ethnicity 0
Maintaining
80/20 Income Ratio 0
Maintaining
Income in Relation to Poverty Level 0
Maintaining
People Living in Poverty 0
Maintaining
People Living in Poverty, by Education Level 1
Increasing
People Living in Poverty, by Age 1
Increasing
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Homeownership Rates, by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Overall Housing Cost Burden -1
Decreasing
Cost of Rent, by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Median Home Value by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Homelessness 10 Not Applicable*
Households Receiving SNAP by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Household Receiving Temporary Assistance 0
Maintaining
Households Without Vehicles 0
Maintaining
Education Levels of Adults by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Change in Employment by Sector 10 Not Applicable*
Change in Average Salary by Sector 10 Not Applicable*
Female to Male Earnings Ratio 0
Maintaining
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Employer Size 1
Increasing
Business Ownership, by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Self-Employment Revenue 0
Maintaining
People Entering/Leaving County for Work 1
Increasing
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Preterm Births 10 Not Applicable*
Infant Mortality by Mother's Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Children with Elevated Blood Lead Levels -1
Decreasing
Prevalence of Children with Asthma 1
Increasing
People with Disabilities 1
Increasing
People Without Health Insurance -1
Decreasing
Cancer Incidence 0
Maintaining
Diabetes Incidence -1
Decreasing
Substance Abuse Treatment Admissions 1
Increasing
Opioid Overdose Mortality Rate 1
Increasing
Children Living in Poverty 0
Maintaining
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Economically Disadvantaged Students 1
Increasing
Disengaged Youth -1
Decreasing
Prekindergarten Participation -1
Decreasing
Student Performance on Grade 3 English, by Student Subgroup -1
Decreasing
Student Performance on Grade 8 Math, by Student Subgroup -1
Decreasing
Student Performance on Grade 10 English, by Student Subgroup -1
Decreasing
Student Performance on Grade 10 Math, by Student Subgroup -1
Decreasing
High School Cohort Graduation Rate, by Student Group 1
Increasing
Arrest Rate by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Household Income by Race/Ethnicity 0
Maintaining
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Homeownership Rates, by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Cost of Rent, by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Median Home Value by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Households Receiving SNAP by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Education Levels of Adults by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Business Ownership, by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Infant Mortality by Mother's Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Student Performance on Grade 3 English, by Student Subgroup -1
Decreasing
Student Performance on Grade 8 Math, by Student Subgroup -1
Decreasing
Student Performance on Grade 10 English, by Student Subgroup -1
Decreasing
Student Performance on Grade 10 Math, by Student Subgroup -1
Decreasing
High School Cohort Graduation Rate, by Student Group 1
Increasing





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