, Newburyport, MA

September 25, 2013

Newburyport leads local schools in MCAS results

By Mac Cerullo
Staff Writer

---- — The state released the results of the Spring 2013 MCAS, and once again local schools outperformed the state average in nearly every category, with Newburyport leading the way.

Overall, Newburyport had the highest scores across all grade levels and subjects in the region, while Amesbury had the lowest. All four school districts scored above the state average, as did most individual grades and subjects within each district.

In Newburyport, 82 percent of all students scored proficient or higher in English, as did 71 percent in both math and science. Pentucket had the second highest English scores, with 78 percent of students scored proficient or higher, along with 68 percent in math and 63 percent in science.

Triton had 76 percent of its students score proficient or higher in English, with 69 percent in math and 60 percent in science, and Amesbury had 76 percent in English, 65 percent in math and 59 percent in science.

While Amesbury’s overall scores didn’t compare favorably to the surrounding communities, the elementary schools compared very well, particularly in the earlier grades and especially at the Amesbury Elementary School.

For instance, 84 percent of Amesbury Elementary School third graders scored proficient or higher in reading, as did 86 percent in math. The school’s reading scores were the highest of all elementary schools in the region, and only the Newbury Elementary School matched the school’s math scores.

The John C. Page School in West Newbury third grade scores were slightly lower, but factoring in its top marks in other areas, it finished with the highest overall scores among all area elementary schools, with 78 percent of students scoring proficient or higher in English, 79 percent in math and 78 percent in science.

Though Newburyport’s elementary schools scored in the middle of the pack, the Rupert A. Nock Middle School in Newburyport owned the top marks of all middle schools in the region. The school’s English language arts scores were especially high, with 90 percent of all students finishing with proficient or higher scores, including 95 percent of all eighth graders.

Pentucket Middle School’s overall English scores were also at 90 percent proficient or higher, and Triton Middle School was close behind at 85 percent. Amesbury Middle School’s English scores were 76 percent, but that was much better than the school’s 59 percent mark in math, which was brought down by a dismal performance in sixth grade.

Only 53 percent of Amesbury Middle School sixth graders finished with proficient or higher scores in math, well below the state average of 61 percent.

Amesbury Middle School’s math scores did improve in the seventh and eighth grades and compared favorably to Pentucket and Triton, although all three remained well behind Newburyport’s math scores at those grade levels.

At the high school level, all four schools performed very well in English and math, with 97 percent of Newburyport and Pentucket 10th graders scoring proficient or higher in English, along with 94 percent at Amesbury and Triton. In math, all four schools scored higher than 87 percent proficient, with Newburyport leading the way with 94 percent.

Newburyport High School also performed well in science, with 87 percent of 10th graders scoring proficient or higher, but the other three schools did not perform quite as well. Pentucket Regional High School was second with 83 percent proficient or higher, Triton Regional High School was third with 76 percent, and Amesbury High School last with 70 percent, just below the state average of 71 percent.

To see the full set of data, visit