Education
Student Performance on Grade 8 Math by Student Group

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Percent of Students Passing Grade 8 Math, 2021

What does this measure?

The percentage of students considered proficient on one of the state's 8th grade math tests, 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 region doing?

In 2021, 39% of 8th graders were considered proficient in MetroWest, a significant drop from 2017. This was higher than the 2021 statewide rate of 32%.

Students in MetroWest from economically disadvantaged backgrounds had a proficiency rate of 17% in 2021, compared to 49% of those who were not economically disadvantaged. The proficiency rate was highest among the region's Asian students (72%), followed by students who were white (41%), Black or African American (18%) and Hispanic or Latino (17%). Rates for all groups in MetroWest were slightly higher than those at the state level, but the region's racial and ethnic disparities were similar to Massachusetts as a whole. While losses occurred in all groups from 2018 to 2021, proficiency among white students decreased 17 points.

Among individual districts, rates were highest, in 2021, in Acton-Boxborough (76%), Hopkinton and Weston (73%), Carlisle (72%) and Lexington and Wayland (both at 71%), and lowest in Bellingham (20%), Marlborough and Boston (21%), Hudson and Milford (both 22%) and Framingham (27%).

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. School systems in the United States are highly segregated, and students of color disproportionately attend schools with high proportions of low-income students who may not have benefited from early learning opportunities at the same rate as other students. Schools also have different levels of resources ranging from qualified/experienced teachers to advanced courses to facilities and technology, and schools with large Black and Latino populations often have lower levels. In addition, teachers across all school systems tend to be disproportionately white, and teaching practices and curriculum may not be culturally relevant to students of color.

Notes about the data

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. As assessments vary among states, it is not possible to include comparable data for the nation or other areas in this indicator. Data from earlier years is not comparable due to changes in the state test.

Percent of Students Passing Grade 8 Math, 2021
All StudentsAsianBlack or African AmericanEconomically DisadvantagedHispanic or LatinoNot Economically DisadvantagedWhite
Massachusetts32%67%15%14%15%43%37%
Region39%72%18%17%17%49%41%
Middlesex County44%72%22%20%20%52%46%
Norfolk County43%72%15%21%22%49%43%
Worcester County29%71%14%12%11%40%33%
Acton-Boxborough School District76%92%47%42%62%79%68%
Ashland School District46%75%18%24%55%47%
Bedford School District61%80%29%67%65%59%
Bellingham School District20%80%16%17%20%15%
Carlisle School District72%73%72%
Christa McAuliffe Charter Public (District)32%40%60%18%10%37%37%
Concord School District47%68%9%14%42%51%46%
Dedham School District35%19%18%23%44%41%
Dover-Sherborn School District69%91%70%67%
Foxborough Regional Charter29%67%19%20%33%39%
Framingham School District27%61%18%17%12%36%34%
Francis W. Parker Charter Essential34%36%37%
Franklin School District40%85%23%22%42%38%
Harvard School District43%47%35%
Holliston School District38%85%21%21%40%35%
Hopkinton School District73%92%32%33%77%70%
Hudson School District22%7%9%28%24%
Innovation Academy Charter33%55%13%37%32%
Lexington School District71%87%0%42%42%72%62%
Lincoln School District54%31%18%56%67%
Littleton School District39%91%9%42%35%
Marlborough School District21%17%12%11%31%31%
Maynard School District34%16%18%39%39%
Medfield School District56%40%45%56%54%
Medway School District51%18%29%54%51%
Milford School District22%11%10%32%26%
Millis School District49%36%51%53%
Nashoba School District56%79%24%24%60%60%
Natick School District57%79%29%20%42%63%58%
Needham School District68%96%45%43%70%68%
Southborough School District68%82%50%33%70%70%
Sudbury School District62%86%10%40%56%63%62%
Walpole School District50%94%31%30%33%54%48%
Waltham School District35%71%18%20%20%48%50%
Wayland School District71%88%70%72%66%
Wellesley School District59%94%11%34%17%61%55%
Westborough School District66%89%30%27%72%60%
Westford School District61%87%20%67%65%52%
Weston School District73%100%38%57%46%74%73%
Westwood School District52%89%24%20%56%50%

Source: Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education




Number of Students Passing Grade 8 Math, 2021
All StudentsAsianBlack or African AmericanEconomically DisadvantagedHispanic or LatinoNot Economically DisadvantagedWhite
Massachusetts21,6863,2839823,7112,13617,95714,309
Region12,6242,5403681,56183411,0368,071
Middlesex County6,7401,5092148064865,9154,100
Norfolk County3,238658933611342,8742,151
Worcester County2,646373613942142,2471,820
Acton-Boxborough School District32114971418307135
Ashland School District9921989065
Bedford School District123337811581
Bellingham School District328522621
Carlisle School District474634
Christa McAuliffe Charter Public (District)3966633322
Concord School District1121713510982
Dedham School District82414106863
Dover-Sherborn School District98209770
Foxborough Regional Charter41101693213
Framingham School District1531185024103100
Francis W. Parker Charter Essential242222
Franklin School District16222116151130
Harvard School District353422
Holliston School District8511538067
Hopkinton School District2317395222146
Hudson School District43423938
Innovation Academy Charter31622923
Lexington School District41722501011407154
Lincoln School District49434531
Littleton School District401013929
Marlborough School District81226235548
Maynard School District31322828
Medfield School District100459682
Medway School District86348373
Milford School District7917116253
Millis School District4453939
Nashoba School District1451575138125
Natick School District2302341110219176
Needham School District288271513273228
Southborough School District8914648366
Sudbury School District200251610194150
Walpole School District12915514611597
Waltham School District13315635349875
Wayland School District15338714995
Wellesley School District214582102204136
Westborough School District217100148202104
Westford School District2319058226121
Weston School District1222668611473
Westwood School District115256210987

Source: Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education




INDICATORS REGIONAL TREND
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Children Living in Poverty Maintaining
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families Increasing
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Disengaged Youth Decreasing
Reports of Domestic Violence Maintaining
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Establishments Increasing
Households Without Vehicles Maintaining
Means of Transportation to Work Not Applicable
Households With Internet Access Not Applicable
Voter Participation Rate Increasing
Average Charitable Contribution Maintaining
People Without Health Insurance Decreasing
Drug Poisoning Mortality Rate Increasing
Crimes Against People Decreasing
Incarceration Rates, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Change in Total Population Increasing
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Foreign-Born Population Increasing
Language Diversity Increasing
Population by Age Not Applicable
Change in Population by Age/Gender Not Applicable
Seniors Living Alone Decreasing
People with Disabilities Maintaining
Change in Total Jobs by Sector Not Applicable
Unemployment Rate Increasing
Business Ownership by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Share of Workers who are Professionals, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
High-Tech Jobs Maintaining
Female to Male Earnings Ratio Maintaining
Prekindergarten Participation Not Applicable
School Spending Per Student Maintaining
Student Performance on Grade 3 English, by Student Group Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 8 Math by Student Group Not Applicable
Chronically Absent Students Increasing
High School Cohort Graduation Rate by Student Group Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
College Admission Rate, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty Increasing
People Living in Poverty, by Education Level Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Households Receiving Temporary Assistance Maintaining
Participation in Food Assistance by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Median Household Income Maintaining
Median Household Income, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Living Wage Not Applicable
80/20 Income Ratio Maintaining
Access to Financial Services, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Homeownership Rates Increasing
Homeownership Rates, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Homeownership Increasing
Cost of Homeownership, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Rent Not Applicable
Cost of Rent, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Homelessness Increasing
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Incarceration Rates, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Business Ownership by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Share of Workers who are Professionals, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 3 English, by Student Group Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 8 Math by Student Group Not Applicable
High School Cohort Graduation Rate by Student Group Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
College Admission Rate, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Participation in Food Assistance by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Median Household Income, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Access to Financial Services, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Homeownership Rates, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Homeownership, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Rent, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable


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