Tisbury School earns Governor’s commendation


Tisbury School earned distinction as one of 187 schools recognized by Gov. Deval Patrick as a Commendation School, out of more than 1,800 Massachusetts schools participating in Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) testing, whose results were announced last week.

Governor Patrick acknowledged the schools for their steady progress in raising student achievement, while at the same time demonstrating a consistent narrowing of achievement gaps among students, according to a press release.

“This year our subgroups in both math and English language arts [ELA] exceeded the state benchmark,” principal Richard Smith said. “So we were extremely proud of our kids, and I believe that’s why we received the commendation.”

Schools receive aggregate MCAS scores, which include all students tested, and scores for subgroups in categories such as low-income, special education, limited English proficiency, and race/ethnicity.

Mr. Smith said 194 Tisbury School students took MCAS exams last spring. Of those, 58 were in the low-income subgroup, which includes children who qualify for the free and reduced lunch program.

Both aggregate and subgroup scores are used to determine a school’s adequate yearly progress (AYP). Schools must achieve AYP, based on federal No Child Left Behind benchmarks for annual increases in state standardized test scores.

In 2008, Tisbury School’s MCAS low-income subgroup scores for ELA and math did not achieve AYP goals. Schools and districts that do not meet that standard for two or more consecutive years must follow a required course of action to improve school performance.

At a meeting Tuesday, the Tisbury selectmen praised Tisbury School’s achievement and said they would send a letter of congratulations to Mr. Smith.