State education board member breaks down MCAS impacts



Research by Professor John Papay of Brown University, cited in Hills’ analysis, shows that students with higher MCAS scores go on to earn substantially more in the labor market. This is true across different racial and ethnic groups.

The Grade 10 MCAS scores can help predict earnings among similar students with the same education level and demographics, Papay found.

Asked why, from a policymaking perspective, it is valuable to have data that predicts earnings, Hills responded that “it shows we have a test that’s accurately predicting future income,” and that “we need to put our resources and initiatives behind improving scores when a student gets into high school in order to give them a real chance at an adequate income, or enrolling in a two- or four-year college.”

The data shows the likelihood of enrolling and graduating from college increases for students with higher MCAS scores. Among students who took the 2011 math test, only 24 percent who earned a proficient/needs improvement score graduated from a two- or four-year college, compared to a 48 percent statewide average.


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