The Student Growth Percentile (SGP) the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) now uses as 25 percent of the formula for determining school district rankings has a high degree of error. While the SGP may have a role to play as part of discussions around holding districts accountable for performance, it should not be used for high-stakes policy decisions, including which districts are eligible for an increase in the charter public school cap.
About Bruce Bean
Dr. Bruce Bean has been involved in various forms of data analysis for over forty years, creating custom software for many uses. Working as an accountant, he created a complete custom software general ledger package and other software programs. As the founder of his own economic statistics software company, he created custom software that contained over 14,000 economic and financial time series and was used nation wide. For the past twenty-one years, he has been the data manager of The Community Group in Lawrence, MA, where he has been involved in analyses of MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and local school data, both for in-house and consulting. He earned a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of New Hampshire.
This report analyzes achievement gaps for African-American and Hispanic minority students in selected Massachusetts school districts. It examines the gaps in English Language Arts and Mathematics achievement on the state assessment, MCAS, between each minority group and White students.
Business leaders, educators, policy makers, and civil rights advocates are increasingly dedicated to fundamental reform to close the achievement gap that limits hope and opportunity for students from historically disadvantaged groups. Substantial gaps in academic achievement between groups of students based on race, ethnicity and similar factors should have no place in American society in the 21st century.