education
Student Performance on Grade 3 English by Student Subgroup

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Source: Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education

What does this measure?

The percentage of students considered proficient on one of the state's 3rd grade English Language Arts tests, either the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) or the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC).

Why is this important?

Early literacy skills are critical to a successful school experience. Third grade is considered an important milestone in a student's career in terms of reading proficiency and is correlated to whether a student will graduate high school. Up through 3rd grade, students are learning to read; after 3rd grade, they must be able to read in order to learn. There are persistent gaps in academic achievement among students of different races, ethnicities and incomes. Notably, racial gaps persist even among students of similar socioeconomic backgrounds.

How is Brookline doing?

In 2022, 69% of 3rd graders in the Brookline School District were considered proficient in reading, up 10 percentage points from 2017. This was higher than the 2022 Norfolk County rate of 58% and the statewide rate of 44%.

Brookline students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds had a lower reading proficiency rate of 32% in 2022, compared to 75% of those who were not economically disadvantaged.

Proficiency rates were higher among Brookline's white (74%), Asian (71%) and Latino (63%) students, while lower for Black or African American (32%) students. Rates for all groups in Brookline were higher than those at the state level. Since 2017, proficiency rates improved for all groups in Brookline. Rates among Latino students improved the most (21 points) while the rate for African American students increased by 1 point.

Among individual districts, Brookline's proficiency rate for all 3rd graders in 2022 was lower than Arlington (72%), but higher than Newton (66%), Cambridge (58%), and Everett (23%).

Why do 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

Massachusetts students are considered "economically disadvantaged" if they receive assistance though the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Transitional Assistance for Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC), the Department of Children and Families' (DCF) foster care program, or MassHealth insurance.

snapshot
Percent of Students Passing Grade 3 Reading, 2022
All StudentsAsianBlack or African AmericanEconomically DisadvantagedHispanic or LatinoNot Economically DisadvantagedWhite
Norfolk County58%65%31%34%37%67%62%
Essex County39%55%30%23%20%57%53%
Middlesex County53%64%32%26%25%66%59%
Massachusetts44%62%28%26%23%60%53%
Arlington School District, Middlesex County72%80%10%28%47%76%74%
Brookline School District69%71%32%32%63%75%74%
Cambridge School District, Middlesex County58%60%24%27%37%79%79%
Everett School District, Middlesex County23%41%20%22%22%29%31%
Newton School District, Middlesex County66%73%43%35%37%70%70%
Edith C. Baker School74%65%77%73%
Florida Ruffin Ridley School67%70%64%
Heath School74%82%75%
John D. Runkle School69%70%76%83%
Amos A. Lawrence School65%55%72%75%
Michael Driscoll School73%76%84%
John Pierce School70%75%72%77%
William H. Lincoln School62%70%68%

Source: Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education




Number of Students Passing Grade 3 Reading, 2022
All StudentsAsianBlack or African AmericanEconomically DisadvantagedHispanic or LatinoNot Economically DisadvantagedWhite
Norfolk County4,1086501806672043,4362,706
Essex County3,151160829526032,1872,090
Middlesex County8,1031,4452931,3446436,7535,075
Massachusetts28,4043,0771,6397,8003,41120,59518,623
Arlington School District, Middlesex County3815921416367262
Brookline School District3086591824290170
Cambridge School District, Middlesex County29037275425236162
Everett School District, Middlesex County10771580652720
Newton School District, Middlesex County570135174029530337
Edith C. Baker School45114422
Florida Ruffin Ridley School484530
Heath School373721
John D. Runkle School3573219
Amos A. Lawrence School3463121
Michael Driscoll School302916
John Pierce School50154727
William H. Lincoln School242113

Source: Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education






INDICATORS TREND
Change in Total Population 1
Increasing
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Language Diversity 1
Increasing
Foreign-Born Population 1
Increasing
Population by Age 1
Increasing
People with Disabilities 1
Increasing
Voter Registration -1
Decreasing
Voter Participation 1
Increasing
Arrest Rate by Race/Ethnicity 0
Maintaining
Incarceration Rate by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Change in Total Jobs 10 Not Applicable*
Unemployment Rate 10 Not Applicable*
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity 0
Maintaining
Living Wage 10 Not Applicable*
Median Household Income 0
Maintaining
Median Household Income by Race/Ethnicity 0
Maintaining
Income in Relation to Poverty Level -1
Decreasing
People Living in Poverty 1
Increasing
People Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
People Living in Poverty by Age -1
Decreasing
Children Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Females Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Seniors Living in Poverty 1
Increasing
Share of Workers who are Professionals by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Business Ownership by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Access to Financial Services by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Student Performance on Grade 3 English by Student Subgroup 10 Not Applicable*
High School Cohort Graduation Rate by Student Group 10 Not Applicable*
Education Levels of Adults by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Overall Housing Cost Burden -1
Decreasing
Median Home Value 0
Maintaining
Median Home Value by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Cost of Homeownership 1
Increasing
Cost of Homeownership by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Cost of Renting 1
Increasing
Cost of Rent by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Households Receiving SNAP 1
Increasing
Households Receiving SNAP by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Food Insecurity 10 Not Applicable*
Households Without Vehicles 1
Increasing
Means of Transportation to Work by Race/Ethnicity 0
Maintaining
Protected Land 10 Not Applicable*
Percent of Days with Good Air Quality 10 Not Applicable*
Early Prenatal Care 10 Not Applicable*
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Drug Poisoning Mortality Rate 10 Not Applicable*
Substance Abuse Treatment Admissions 10 Not Applicable*
People 65 or Older Living Alone 1
Increasing
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Arrest Rate by Race/Ethnicity 0
Maintaining
Incarceration Rate by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity 0
Maintaining
Median Household Income by Race/Ethnicity 0
Maintaining
People Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Children Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Females Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Share of Workers who are Professionals by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Business Ownership by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Student Performance on Grade 3 English by Student Subgroup 10 Not Applicable*
High School Cohort Graduation Rate by Student Group 10 Not Applicable*
Education Levels of Adults by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Median Home Value by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Cost of Homeownership by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Cost of Rent by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Households Receiving SNAP by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*



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