Accountability Report - About the Data

Data in the Accountability Report are displayed in the following sections:

Accountability Information
Progress and Performance Index (PPI) Subgroup Data
2013 Proficiency Gap Narrowing (English language arts, Mathematics, and Science)
2013 Extra Credit (English language arts, Mathematics, and Science)
2013 Growth (English language arts and Mathematics)
2011 Five-Year and 2012 Four-Year Cohort Graduation Rates
2012 Annual Dropout Rate
Accountability Information
Beginning with the 2012-13 school year, accountability reports changed significantly as a result of Massachusetts’ waiver of certain No Child Left Behind (NCLB) requirements: the NCLB goal of 100 percent proficiency was replaced with a new goal of reducing proficiency gaps by half by 2017; the NCLB accountability status labels of improvement, corrective action, and restructuring were eliminated; only state accountability and assistance levels are used for districts and schools, including charter schools; Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) has been replaced with a new performance measure (the Progress and Performance Index, or PPI) that incorporates student growth and other indicators, including science and dropout rates; and reports show a new "high needs" subgroup, an unduplicated count of all students in a school or district belonging to at least one of the following individual subgroups: students with disabilities, English language learners (ELL) and former ELL students, or low income students

Accountability and Assistance Level: Massachusetts' Framework for District Accountability and Assistance classifies schools and districts on a five-level scale, classifying those meeting their gap narrowing goals in Level 1 and the lowest performing in Level 5. Approximately eighty percent of schools are classified into Level 1 or 2 based on the cumulative PPI for the "all students" and high needs groups. For a school to be classified into Level 1, the cumulative PPI for both the "all students" group and high needs students must be 75 or higher. If not, the school is classified into Level 2. A school may also be classified into Level 2 if it has low MCAS participation rates for any group (between 90 and 94%).

Schools are classified into Level 3 if they are among the lowest 20 percent relative to other schools in the same school type category statewide, if one or more subgroups in the school are among the lowest performing 20% of subgroups relative to all subgroups statewide, if they have persistently low graduation rates (less than 60% for any subgroup over a four-year period), or if they have very low MCAS participation rates for any group (less than 90%). The lowest achieving, least improving Level 3 schools are candidates for classification into Levels 4 and 5, the most serious designations in Massachusetts' accountability system.

A small number of schools each year will not be classified into a level: small schools, schools ending in grades 1 or 2, new schools, or schools that were substantially reconfigured.

In general, a district is classified into the level of its lowest performing school, unless the district was independently classified into Level 4 or 5 as a result of action by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Determination of need for technical assistance or intervention in the area of special education: The U.S. Department of Education requires Massachusetts to determine which districts (including single school districts) have specific needs for technical assistance or intervention in the area of special education. A district’s determination is based on five categories: Meets Requirements (MR); Meets Requirements-At Risk (MRAR); Needs Technical Assistance (NTA); Needs Intervention (NI); and Needs Substantial Intervention (NSI). In most cases these categories correspond to the district's accountability and assistance level, except when the district has specific compliance needs. This designation helps signal whether outcomes for all students in the district indicate progress, including that of students with disabilities, or whether technical assistance and/or intervention is needed to improve outcomes for all children, especially students with disabilities. Upon classification of a district into Level 3, two additional focus areas for special education will be reviewed at the district level and may require action: (A) over-identification of low-income students as eligible for special education and (B) inordinate separation of students with disabilities across low income and/or racial groups.

Focus on…(name of one or more subgroups): Schools with one or more subgroups that are among the lowest performing subgroups statewide are classified into Level 3, and the names of those groups are displayed. For a subgroup to be low performing, it must meet two criteria: (1) the subgroup must place in the lowest performing 20 percent of like subgroups within the school type category statewide, and (2) the subgroup must place in the lowest performing 20 percent of all subgroups statewide within the same school type.

Commended for…(description of reason): Formal recognition of a Level 1 school that demonstrates very high achievement, makes strong progress overall, or makes strong progress toward narrowing proficiency gaps in the current year.

School percentiles: A school percentile between 1 and 99 is reported for schools with at least four years of data. This number is an indication of the school's overall performance relative to other schools that serve the same or similar grades. All schools are classified into one of five school type categories: (1) Elementary, usually schools serving grades K-5 or K-6; (2) Elementary/Middle, usually schools serving grades K-8); (3) Middle, usually schools serving grades 6-8 or 7-8; (4) Middle/High, usually schools serving grades 7-12 or K-12); and (5) High, usually schools serving grades 9-12). State law requires Massachusetts to classify into Level 3 those schools that are among the lowest performing 20 percent relative to other schools of the same school type. These schools are considered to be the lowest-achieving, least-improving schools in the state. For a school to be eligible for classification into Level 3 or assigned a percentile, it must have sufficient data to be compared to other schools based on achievement and improvement.

Cumulative Progress and Performance Index (PPI): The cumulative PPI combines information about narrowing proficiency gaps, growth, and graduation and dropout rates over the most recent four-year period into a single number between 0 and 100. All districts, schools, and groups with sufficient data are assigned an annual PPI based on two years of data and a cumulative PPI between 0 and 100 based on three annual PPIs. The annual PPI is a measure of the improvement that a group makes toward its own targets over a two-year period on up to seven indicators: narrowing proficiency gaps (in English language arts (ELA), mathematics, and science); growth (ELA and mathematics); the annual dropout rate; and the cohort graduation rate. The cumulative PPI is the average of a group's annual PPIs over four years, weighting the most recent years the most (1-2-3-4). A cumulative PPI is calculated for a group if it has at least three annual PPIs. If a group is missing an annual PPI for one year, that year is left out of the weighting (e.g., 1-X-3-4). While a group's annual PPI can exceed 100 points, the cumulative PPI is always reported on a 100-point scale. For a school to be considered to be making progress toward narrowing proficiency gaps, the cumulative PPI for both the "all students" group and high needs students must be 75 or higher.

Student groups: School and district accountability determinations are made for the "all students" group and for up to 11 subgroups. Determinations are made for districts and schools (including single school districts and charter schools) that serve 20 or more students and for all subgroups of 30 or more students.

High needs students: The new high needs group is an unduplicated count of all students in a school or district belonging to at least one of the following individual subgroups: students with disabilities, English language learners (ELL) and former ELL students, or low income students (eligible for free/reduced price school lunch). For a school to be considered to be making progress toward narrowing proficiency gaps, the cumulative PPI for both the "all students" group and high needs students must be 75 or higher.

Progress and Performance Index (PPI) Subgroup Data

Annual PPI: The annual PPI is a measure of the improvement that a group makes toward its own targets over a two-year period on up to seven indicators: narrowing proficiency gaps (ELA, mathematics, and science); growth (ELA and mathematics); the annual dropout rate; and the cohort graduation rate. An annual PPI is calculated for all groups that assessed a sufficient number of students in ELA and mathematics in the most recent year and one of the two prior years (20 for schools, 30 for subgroups). A group is awarded 0, 25, 50, 75, or 100 points based on this improvement. To be considered on target for a given indicator, a group must earn 75 points. A group that scores above target is awarded 100 points. The annual PPI is then calculated by dividing the total number of points earned for all indicators by the number of indicators. Organizations serving grades 9-12 and organizations that test students in science will have more indicators than others. If a group did not have 2012 data to measure improvement between 2012 and 2013, 2011 - if available - data are substituted in order calculate change.

Cumulative PPI: The cumulative PPI combines information about narrowing proficiency gaps, growth, and graduation and dropout rates over the most recent four-year period into a single number between 0 and 100. All districts, schools, and groups with sufficient data are assigned an annual PPI based on two years of data and a cumulative PPI between 0 and 100 based on three annual PPIs. The annual PPI is a measure of the improvement that a group makes toward its own targets over a two-year period on up to seven indicators: narrowing proficiency gaps (English language arts (ELA), mathematics, and science); growth (ELA and mathematics); the annual dropout rate; and the cohort graduation rate. The cumulative PPI is the average of a group's annual PPIs over four years, weighting the most recent years the most (1-2-3-4). A cumulative PPI is calculated for a group if it has at least three annual PPIs. If a group is missing an annual PPI for one year, that year is left out of the weighting (e.g., 1-X-3-4). While a group’s annual PPI can exceed 100 points, the cumulative PPI is always reported on a 100-point scale. For a school to be considered to be making progress toward narrowing proficiency gaps, the cumulative PPI for both the "all students" group and high needs students must be 75 or higher.

MCAS Participation: All districts, schools, and subgroups must assess at least 95 percent of their students on the ELA, mathematics, and science MCAS and/or the state English language acquisition assessment (for English language learners). Any school with less than 95 percent participation for any student group is ineligible for classification into Level 1 and is, at a minimum, classified into Level 2. Any school with less than 90 percent participation for any student group is automatically classified into Level 3.

Proficiency Gap Narrowing (English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science)
All groups (districts, schools, and subgroups) are expected to halve the distance between their level of performance in 2011 and proficiency by the year 2017. Massachusetts uses the 100-point Composite Performance Index (CPI) to measure progress towards this goal of narrowing proficiency gaps. The CPI assigns 100, 75, 50, 25, or 0 points to each student participating in MCAS and MCAS-Alternate Assessment tests based how close they came to scoring Proficient or Advanced. (For example, all students scoring Proficient or Advanced are assigned 100 CPI points; students with very low MCAS scores are assigned 0 CPI points.) The CPI is calculated by dividing the total number of points by the number of students in the group. The result is a number between 0 and 100. A CPI of 100 means that all students in a group are proficient.

2011 CPI (Baseline): The baseline for the group's annual CPI target.*

2013 CPI: The actual 2013 CPI for the group. A group is automatically awarded 100 PPI points and an "Above Target" rating if the 2013 CPI for the group is 97.5 or higher.

CPI Change: The change in CPI from the prior year to the current year (can be negative). A group is awarded 100 PPI points and an "Above Target" rating for exceeding its annual target by more than 1.25 points. A group is awarded 75 PPI points and an "On Target" rating if the current year CPI is within plus or minus 1.25 points of its CPI target. A group receives partial credit (50 PPI points) for showing improvement in the CPI even if it is below target ("Improved Below Target"). If there is no change in CPI or the CPI declines slightly (up to -2.5 CPI points), the group is awarded 25 points ("No Change"). If the CPI declines by more than 2.5 points, the group is awarded 0 points ("Declined").

2013 Target: The CPI target for the group in the current year needed for the group to remain on track toward reducing the proficiency gap by half in the six year period between 2011 and 2017.

6 Year Goal: The expected CPI for the group in six years if the proficiency gap is halved.

Percentile In School Type: Where the group’s 2013 CPI falls relative to all like groups in the same school type category statewide, represented as a number between 1 and 99. Any group that met the 90th percentile CPI for that particular group in the school type category statewide is awarded 75 PPI points ("On Target").**

N: The number of students whose assessment results were included in the 2013 CPI calculation for a given student group. For schools, this number includes only those students enrolled in the school on or before October 1, 2012 and who took MCAS or MCAS-Alt tests in the same school. For districts, including single school districts, this number includes all students who took MCAS/MCAS-Alt tests while enrolled in the district, regardless of when they enrolled. The district N figure includes students in out-of-district placements (i.e., those who attend a non-public school at public expense). All ELL students in their first year of U.S. schooling are excluded from the N figure, as are students who did not complete testing.

PPI Points: Points awarded to the group for making improvement relative to the group’s own annual target (0, 25, 50, 75, or 100). To be considered on target, a group must earn 75 points. A group that scores above target is awarded 100 points.

Rating: Description of the group’s improvement relative to its own annual target: Above Target (100 points); On Target (75 points); Improved Below Target (50 points); No Change (25 points); or Declined (0 points).

* If a group did not have a 2012 CPI to measure improvement between 2012 and 2013, the 2011 CPI is substituted in order to calculate change.
** Any group that met the 80th percentile CPI for all groups in the same school type category statewide is awarded 75 PPI points and an "On Target" rating; a group meeting the 90th percentile CPI for all groups in the school type category statewide is awarded 100 PPI points and an "Above Target" rating.
2013 Extra Credit (English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science)
All groups (districts, schools, and subgroups) earn extra credit if they decrease the percent of students scoring at the Warning/Failing level or if they increase the percent of students scoring Advanced on ELA, mathematics, and/or science MCAS assessments by 10 percent from one year to the next.

2012 % (Advanced or Warning/Failing): The percentage of students scoring Advanced or Warning/Failing, respectively, on MCAS tests in the prior year. For 2013 accountability determinations, the baseline for most groups is the 2012 percentage. If a group did not have sufficient data in 2012 to measure improvement between 2012 and 2013, 2011 data are substituted as the baseline, if available.

2013 % (Advanced or Warning/Failing): The percentage of students scoring Advanced or Warning/Failing, respectively, on MCAS tests in the current year.

N: The number of students whose assessment results were included in the calculation for the current year.

PPI Points Awarded: For each subject, indicates whether the group was awarded 25 PPI points for decreasing the percent of students scoring at the Warning/Failing level and/or increasing the percent of students scoring Advanced on ELA, mathematics, and/or science MCAS assessments by 10 percent from one year to the next. As displayed on the PPI Detail page for each student group, any extra credit points earned are added to the total number of Points awarded for narrowing proficiency gaps, growth, and high school indicators.

2013 Growth (English Language Arts and Mathematics)
All groups (districts, schools, and subgroups) are expected to demonstrate growth in student performance at or near the state median or show high growth each year between 2011 and 2017. Massachusetts uses Student Growth Percentiles (SGP) to measure how a group of students’ achievement has grown or changed over time.

2012 SGP: The Student Growth Percentile (SGP) for the group in the prior year. For 2013 accountability determinations, the baseline for most groups is the 2012 SGP. If a group did not have a 2012 SGP to measure improvement between 2012 and 2013, the 2011 SGP is substituted as the baseline, if available.

2013 SGP: The actual 2013 SGP for the group. A group is automatically awarded 100 PPI points and an “Above Target” rating if it has a median SGP of 60 points or higher. Barring credit for improvement as described above, a group is awarded 75 PPI points and an “On Target” rating if it has a median SGP between 51 and 59, 50 PPI points (“Improved Below Target”) for a median SGP between 41 and 50, 25 PPI points (“No Change”) for a median SGP between 31 and 40, and zero PPI points (“Declined”) for a median SGP between 1 and 30.

SGP Change: The change in SGP from the prior year to the current year (can be negative). A group is awarded 100 PPI points and an "Above Target" rating if it improves its median SGP by 15 or more points from the prior year, 75 PPI points and an "On Target" rating if it improves its median SGP by 10-14 points from the prior year, and partial credit (50 PPI points) and a "No Change" rating if it improves its median SGP by 1-9 points from the prior year.

6 Year Goal: The goal for all groups is to achieve or maintain a median SGP at least one point above the state median. In 2013, that figure is 51.

Met Safe Harbor?: Indicates whether the percentage of students in the group not proficient decreased by 10 percent or more from the previous year. Unless the group met the criteria for earning 100 PPI points ("Above Target"), the group is automatically awarded 75 points and an "On Target" rating for meeting the federal "safe harbor" provision.

N: The number of students whose assessment results were included in the 2013 growth calculation for a given student group. This number includes only those students enrolled in the school or district on or before October 1, 2012 and who took MCAS tests in the same school or district. The district N figure includes students in out-of-district placements (i.e., those who attend a non-public school at public expense). All ELL students in their first year of U.S. schooling are excluded from the N figure, as are students who did not complete testing or for whom ESE does not have consecutive years of MCAS results (for example, third grade students).

PPI Points: Points awarded to the group for making improvement relative to the group’s own annual target (0, 25, 50, 75, or 100). To be considered on target, a group must earn 75 points. A group that scores above target is awarded 100 points.

Rating: Description of the group’s improvement relative to its own annual target: Above Target (100 points); On Target (75 points); Below Target (0 to 50 points).

2012 Four-Year and 2011 Five-Year Cohort Graduation Rates
All groups (districts, schools, and subgroups) are expected to make steady progress toward a goal of 90 percent for the four-year cohort graduation rate or 95 percent for the five-year rate by the 2016-17 school year. For accountability determinations in any given year, the cohort graduation rate from the prior school year is used. For example, 2013 accountability determinations for the four-year rate use data from 2012; determinations for the five-year rate use data from 2011.*

6 Year Goal: The expected cohort graduation rate for the group in six years. The goal for all groups is a four-year cohort graduation rate of 90 percent or a five-year rate of 95 percent.

2011/2010 Rate: The cohort graduation rate for the group in the prior year. For 2013 accountability determinations, the baseline for most groups are the 2011 four-year and 2010 five-year rates. If a group did not have a rate to measure improvement between 2012 and 2013 accountability determinations, the rate for the prior year is substituted as the baseline, if available.

2012 Rate: The actual cohort graduation rate for the group. A group is automatically awarded 100 PPI points and an “Above Target” rating if the four or five-year cohort graduation rate is 95 percent or higher. A group is awarded 75 PPI points and an “On Target” rating if the four-year rate is between 80 and 95 percent or the five-year rate is between 85 and 95 percent.

Change: The change in the cohort graduation rate from the prior year to the current year (can be negative). A group receives partial credit (50 PPI points) and an "Improved Below Target" rating if does not meet its annual target but improves the four-year rate by 2.5 percent or more from the prior year. A group receive 25 PPI points and a "No Change" rating if the graduation rate is within plus or minus 2.5 percentage points of the prior four-year (or five-year) rate, and a group receives zero PPI points ("Declined") if the graduation rate declines by more than 2.5 percentage points from the prior year.

Annual Target: The four-and five-year cohort graduation rate targets for the group in the current year needed for the group to remain on track toward a goal of 90 percent for the four-year cohort graduation rate or 95 percent for the five-year rate by the 2016-17 school year. For 2013 accountability determinations, the goal for the four-year rate is 80 percent and the goal for the five-year rate is 85 percent.

N: The number of students in the cohort.

PPI Points: Points awarded to the group for making improvement relative to the group’s own target (0, 25, 50, 75, or 100). To be considered on target, a group must earn 75 points. A group that scores above target is awarded 100 points.

Rating: Description of the group’s improvement relative to its own annual target: Above Target (100 points); On Target (75 points); Improved Below Target (50 points); No Change (25 points); or Declined (0 points).

* 2013 accountability reports show graduation rates for the 2011 and 2012 cohorts because it allows ESE to use a data set that has been thoroughly reviewed by district and ESE staff. ESE will not have complete graduation rate data for the 2013 graduation cohort until late fall 2013, after the October SIMS reporting period and the 2013 cohort data review period have closed.
2012 Annual Dropout Rate
All groups (districts, schools, and subgroups) are expected to halve the gap between their annual dropout rate, if one exists, and a rate of zero percent by the 2016-17 school year. For accountability determinations in any given year, the annual; dropout rate for the prior year is used. For example, 2013 accountability determinations for the dropout rate use data from 2012.*

2010 Rate (Baseline): The ratebaseline for the annual target. If a group did not have sufficient data in 2010 to measure improvement between 2010 and 2011, 2009 data are substituted as the baseline, if available.

2012 Rate: The actual annual dropout rate for the group. A group is automatically awarded 100 PPI points and an "Above Target" rating if it has a dropout rate of zero percent, met the dropout rate of the 90th percentile for all students in the school type category statewide, or exceeded the group’s own annual gap-halving target by declining 3 or more percentage points from the prior year. A group is awarded 75 PPI points and an "On Target" rating if it met its annual gap-halving target, met the dropout rate of the 90th percentile for that particular group in the school type category statewide, or met the dropout rate of the 80th percentile for all students in the school type category statewide.

Change: The change in the annual dropout rate from the prior year to the current year. A group receives partial credit (50 PPI points) and an "Improved Below Target" rating if it does not meet its annual target but decreases the dropout rate by 0.5 percentage points or more from the prior year. A group receive 25 PPI points and a "No Change" rating if the dropout rate is within plus or minus 0.5 percentage points of the prior rate, and a group receives zero PPI points ("Declined") if the dropout rate increases by more than 0.5 percentage points from the prior year.

Annual Target: The annual dropout rate target for the group in the current year needed for the group to remain on track toward halve the gap between their annual dropout rate, if one exists, and a rate of zero percent by the 2016-17 school year.

6 Year Goal: The expected annual dropout for the group in six years if the dropout rate is reduced by half.

Percentile In School Type: Where the group's 2012 annual dropout rate falls relative to all like groups in the same school type category statewide, represented as a number between 1 and 99. Any group that met the 90th percentile annual dropout rate for that particular group in the school type category statewide is awarded 75 PPI points ("On Target").

N: The number of students in the cohort.

PPI Points: Points awarded to the group for making improvement relative to the group’s own target (0, 25, 50, 75, or 100). To be considered on target, a group must earn 75 points. A group that scores above target is awarded 100 points.

Rating: Description of the group’s improvement relative to its own annual target: Above Target (100 points); On Target (75 points); Improved Below Target (50 points); No Change (25 points); or Declined (0 points).

* 2013 accountability reports show 2012 annual dropout rates because it allows ESE to use a data set that has been thoroughly reviewed by district and ESE staff.