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The Boston Globe from Boston, Massachusetts • Page 31
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The Boston Globe from Boston, Massachusetts • Page 31

The Boston Globei
Boston, Massachusetts
Issue Date:

The Boston Globe City Region B3 Just the a i Basically, Decelle has the biggest selection and savings on everyone's essentials! THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2001 Boston students post record high MCAS exam scores 1 f. V-- -y- r-j 1 Mens Flannel Pajamas by Diplomat Mens Flannel Pants From Geoffery Beene more! Compare at NOW Mens Novelty Boxer Shorts Compare at $14 each NOW 2 for $14 7.99 each Compare at $28 NOW You save $161 You save $131 v. hi mm jif ti i. is r. 1 1 Tl Ladies Panties Great Buy! Compare at each NOW 3 for 55 199 each Ladies Flannel Lounge Pants Compare at $16 NOW $9.99 you save $61 Ladies Slippers Karen Neuberger. Dear Foam Jones NY Compare at NOW $7.99 you save up to $121 I mm leased about two weeks ago showed a dramatic turnaround, with failures cut nearly in half. That sudden improvement has raised suspicions among anti-MCAS forces that the state changed its scoring methods or made the questions easier in order to show progress. But state education officials have maintained that the numbers are solid, saying that changes in the way they scored the exams didnt inflate the results. Some say the doomsday predictions were inflated. In Framing-ham public schools, just 10 percent of sophomores failed English, compared with 20 percent last year. About 14 percent failed the math portion this year, compared with 32 percent in 2000. "I think the predictions were much more ominous than the reality," said Margery Sauer, the district's director of curriculum and professional development. "The scores look exceptional, I think, given the diversity of our population." Still, the gulf between urban districts and their suburban counterparts is not expected to close significantly. Many say that because the exam counted as a graduation requirement, students across the Commonwealth began taking it seriously, leading to better results but not necessarily bridging the gap. In Boston, as in many districts, officials were gratified that about half of the students who failed were within a few points of the passing score of 220. Payzant said the preparation to help them clear the MCAS will be that much more focused and intensive. The city has launched after-school tutorials and is giving struggling students more time in core subjects during the school day. Students get at least four more chances before 2003 to retake the exam, regarded as one of the nation's toughest The message for young kids who may not have done well is, "We're going to be there to help you with after-school programming, mentoring said Mayor Thomas M. Menino. "We're not going to let you fall by the wayside." Critics say students are being coached to pass a test and that the score spikes dont show evidence of real knowledge gains. But educators say the MCAS, with its open-response questions and word problems, requires more than superficial skills. "If not 'Choose the correct answer and bubble in the dot' said Revere High School's principal, Scott Lumsden. "It requires a lot of literacy skills and application of those same skills to math, which is not something we did years 3 District's results match or top most of state's By Anand Vaishnav GiOBE STAFF In a preview of the scores that officials will unveil today, Boston public school students posted sharply higher results than ever on the 2001 MCAS exam, the toughest hurdle so far to their graduation from high school Some of the biggest gains came in the troubled district high schools, which for years have remained among the city's lowest achievers and the most resistant to overhauls. But with already high scores from the elite exam schools hitting a ceiling, Boston Superintendent of Schools Thomas W. Fayzant credited the district schools with carrying the lion's share of the improvement and doing it much faster than he expected. The state Department of Education will release scores on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System exam for 371 districts and charter schools at a news conference this afternoon. Boston gains matched or exceeded the state's in most categories: On the 2001 test, 40 percent of Boston lOth-graders failed English, down from 56 percent last year. And 47 percent failed math, down from 66 percent in 2000, according to scores provided by Pay-zant The acceleration is pretty dramatic, more than I would have predicted," said Payzant "And it is something that students, teachers, administrators, and others in the community ought to be very proud of while understanding that we have a ways to go in terms of kids who are not over the bar." The story promises to be the same for urban school districts across the Commonwealth. The state Department of Education is unveiling individual district results at Brockton High School today as an example of an urban school that has boosted its performance, -i "The urban districts overall helped to drive the major improvements statewide," said Springfield public schools Superintendent Joseph Burke. "You cant get that change without large urban districts helping to drive that improvement. We're very happy about that" In Springfield, 49 percent of lOth-graders failed English, down from 60 percent, and 66 percent failed math, down from 77 percent, Burke said. Statewide, some 500,000 students took the 2001 exam last spring. About 68,000 of those students, all members of the class of 2003, are the first who must pass the exam to earn a high school diploma. After three years of high failure rates, statewide results re 5 Boys Blanket Sleepers Sizes 4-20 Boys OshKosh Underwear Briefs Tees Compare at each NOW 2 for $10 Boys Girls Cotton Sets Boys 4-20 Girls 4-14 Compare at NOW $12.99 you save up to $101 Compare at NOW $12.99 you save up to $71 5.99-6.99 each i 7 V'l i Girls Thermal Sets Compare at $9 Compare a Girls Fashion Panties Compare at $6 each NOW 2 for $5 2.99 each Girls Flannel Sleepwear Sizes Girls 4-14 Gowns and pajamas. Compare at NOW $9.99 You save up to $81 NOW .2 for $12 6.99 each 3 for $5 1.99 each 2 for $14 7.99-8.99 each 2 for $5 2.99 each Mens Dress Socks 3 for $6 2.99 each Ladies Trouser Socks Mens Dunlop 6pack Socks 2 for $12 6.99 each Boys Nike 3pack Socks Ladies Ellen Tracy Socks 2 for $6 3.99-4.49 each Girls Microfiber Tights discover the difference Globe staff correspondent Scott W. Helman contributed to this report. Anand Vaishnav can be reached by e-mail at H'lllJilMfihv mvr mm mm 1 fc- 'a New law exonerates five executed as Salem witches fp'i, i a I I I i i tion of colonial Massachusetts, a deep belief in the supernatural, and political feuds. The hysteria began when four young girls began dabbling in for-tunetelling games. When the girls started showing mysterious physical symptoms, the town doctor concluded they were "bewitched." Then the girls began naming people they suspected of inflicting their symptoms. By the end of May 1692, 200 accused witches were in jafl. Martin, accused of "sundry acts of witchcraft," proclaimed her innocence during her trial and laughed defiantly at her accusers. Ten days later, she was hanged. After the largest group of accused witches was hanged in September 1692, the thirst for prosecutions waned and the use of spectral evidence was rejected. The trials ended in May 1693, when Governor William Phips pardoned all remaining suspects. In 1957, the Massachusetts Legislature approved a resolution exonerating some of the accused witches, including "one Ann Pu-deator and certain other persons." The new law names those "certain other persons." ASSOCIATED PRESS Susannah Martin, hanged in 1692 during the Salem witch trials, can finally rest in peace. With Salem in the throes of its annual Halloween celebration, Acting Governor Jane Swift yesterday signed into law a bill officially exonerating Martin and four others executed during the hysteria. "The governor felt that there couldn't be a more appropriate day than Halloween to sign this bill," said Swift spokeswoman Sarah Magazine. The bill was pushed by descendants of some of the accused witches, who said the state never acknowledged the injustice. "It brings closure to a lot of the families. These people were victims. They gave up their lives," said Democratic state Representative Paul Tirone, who represents Amesbury, where Martin lived. Tirone's wife is a descendant of another of the women killed during the witch trials. "It was a dark chapter in our history," he said. In addition to Martin, Bridget Bishop, Alice Parker, Margaret Scott, and Wilmot Redd were also exonerated. Twenty men and women were hanged or crushed to death during the trials, fueled by the dark isola I Find a mechanic without getting taken foi a zide. Recruitment Classified ads In Marketplace, 617-929-1500 Che Boston 3tobc

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