Racial Equity
Student Performance on Grade 8 Math, 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 one of the state's eighth grade math test, either the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) or the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC).

Why is this important?

Math skills are critical to a variety of careers and important for life skills ranging from budgeting and smart shopping to understanding the news. The middle school math examination serves as a checkpoint for high school preparation; performance on this exam can help predict high school success in math.

How is our county performing?

In 2023, 36% of eighth graders were considered proficient in Worcester County, a decrease of eight percentage points from 2019, and slightly lower than the state passing rate of 38%. Proficiency was lower among Latino or Hispanic (15%), economically disadvantaged (18%), and African American (25%) students compared to those who are White (40%), not economically disadvantaged (49%), or Asian (74%). Proficiency rates declined from 2019 among all groups; however, African American students in Worcester County had a math proficiency rate that was five percentage points higher than similar peers at the state level.

Among school districts in the County, one had a proficiency rate above 70% while 18 districts had rates lower than 30% in 2023. Proficiency rates were highest in Westborough (74%) and lowest in North Brookfield (4%) and Oxford (11%).

It is important to note that standardized educational tests like the MCAS do not offer a full picture of the performance and/or abilities 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.

Data prior to 2017 is not comparable due to changes in the state test.

Percent of Students Passing Grade 8 Math, 2023
All StudentsAsianBlack or African AmericanEconomically DisadvantagedHispanic or LatinoNot Economically DisadvantagedWhite
Worcester County36%74%25%18%15%49%40%
Worcester School District19%44%18%12%10%39%28%
Athol-Royalston School District30%21%43%30%
Clinton School District19%15%11%23%24%
Fitchburg School District25%39%26%18%15%46%48%
Gardner School District24%17%17%35%26%
Northbridge School District36%26%15%45%39%
Southbridge School District19%16%9%32%30%
Spencer-East Brookfield School District23%16%31%30%23%
Webster School District14%18%11%9%22%16%
Westborough School District74%94%27%40%30%84%74%
Massachusetts38%71%20%19%18%53%45%
Additional Worcester County school districts
Quabbin School District30%25%20%33%30%
Seven Hills Charter Public29%33%22%23%53%
Abby Kelley Foster Charter Public District40%37%33%27%50%53%
The Sizer School: A North Central Charter Essential District12%8%6%16%15%
Ashburnham-Westminster School District36%30%36%38%34%
Auburn School District48%59%36%32%53%48%
Berlin-Boylston School District63%47%69%67%
Blackstone-Millville School District19%6%10%25%20%
Douglas School District37%28%41%37%
Dudley-Charlton Regional School District34%22%18%39%35%
Grafton School District47%79%18%31%55%44%
Harvard School District65%75%68%63%
Hopedale School District22%9%0%27%25%
Leicester School District27%5%17%41%31%
Leominster School District26%18%29%16%11%38%38%
Lunenburg School District40%24%29%44%42%
Mendon-Upton School District38%24%31%41%38%
Milford School District25%85%15%14%19%38%28%
Millbury School District33%80%20%24%17%41%31%
Narragansett School District36%25%31%42%35%
Nashoba School District62%77%80%42%40%65%62%
North Brookfield School District4%0%9%5%
Northborough School District53%86%28%21%62%55%
Oxford School District11%6%5%18%14%
Shrewsbury School District64%87%47%35%28%70%55%
Southborough School District64%81%31%66%61%
Sutton School District51%29%55%52%
Uxbridge School District37%19%44%38%
Wachusett School District50%78%47%33%33%54%51%
Quaboag Regional School District23%16%28%23%
West Boylston School District43%43%60%44%41%
Winchendon School District20%8%29%21%

Source: Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education




Number of Students Passing Grade 8 Math, 2023
All StudentsAsianBlack or African AmericanEconomically DisadvantagedHispanic or LatinoNot Economically DisadvantagedWhite
Worcester County3,2854041367403012,5382,227
Worcester School District326455115471172137
Athol-Royalston School District29131624
Clinton School District261271417
Fitchburg School District977652334545
Gardner School District472182631
Northbridge School District602024056
Southbridge School District24167814
Spencer-East Brookfield School District22851417
Webster School District212125912
Westborough School District222954268196112
Massachusetts25,7603,5851,2975,5982,85020,16116,750
Additional Worcester County school districts
Quabbin School District591824153
Seven Hills Charter Public19111168
Abby Kelley Foster Charter Public District4225214218
The Sizer School: A North Central Charter Essential District93166
Ashburnham-Westminster School District681755154
Auburn School District103102298177
Berlin-Boylston School District4684441
Blackstone-Millville School District20211818
Douglas School District3572832
Dudley-Charlton Regional School District1022058290
Grafton School District1323111912191
Harvard School District4694433
Hopedale School District19201718
Leicester School District27232522
Leominster School District12521042218383
Lunenburg School District51744443
Mendon-Upton School District64845656
Milford School District8111224185751
Millbury School District47821523230
Narragansett School District461253436
Nashoba School District159108146145129
North Brookfield School District1011
Northborough School District94191368166
Oxford School District14411013
Shrewsbury School District30312972914274127
Southborough School District792547648
Sutton School District5655150
Uxbridge School District5684852
Wachusett School District2711483711234235
Quaboag Regional School District2481621
West Boylston School District30962122
Winchendon School District1631314

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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