New Study of the Impact of K to 8 School Configuration on MCAS Achievement
Over the past three years, the University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute, in collaboration with the Massachusetts Office of Educational Quality and Accountability, has studied the MCAS achievement of students with special needs in urban public school districts. This research included a comparative analysis of the MCAS achievement of students with special needs at both the district and individual school levels. School level analyses suggested a possible over-representation of schools using a Kindergarten through grade 8 configuration among the top performers. In addition, school level interviews suggested concerns regarding the effects of the transition to middle school upon students with special needs and other student sub-groups. These observations led us to ask, “Does the K-8 school design have a positive effect on the achievement of students with special needs (and, if so, why)?” A new report “The Impact of K to 8 School Configuration on Achievement” offers new insight into the statistical impacts of this configuration on student achievement as well as a discussion of the perspectives of educational leaders in selected K to 8 schools.