CCSC Ranks #1 in MCAS for 10th Grade Math and English

CCSC Caleb Hurst-Hiller and Upper School Principal Chris Cook share MCAS  results with studentsCommunity Charter School of Cambridge (CCSC) is proud to announce that our 10th graders placed #1 in both English and math among 348 high schools statewide taking the MCAS exams in the spring of 2012. These scores make CCSC one of only five public schools, and only three charters, in the state where 100% of 10th graders scored advanced or proficient in both English and math.

Watch the students celebrate the good news in a brief video.

This is the second consecutive year that 100% of CCSC 10th graders have scored advanced or proficient in math, and CCSC improved its 10th grade English scores to 100% this year from 93% in 2011. Specifically, in 2012, 78% of CCSC 10th graders scored advanced in math, and 22% were proficient. In English, 44% of CCSC 10th graders scored advanced and 56% were proficient in 2012.

CCSC Head of School Caleb Hurst-Hiller said, “I could not be more proud of our school community.  Last year’s 10th grade students worked so hard for so long in order to earn these outstanding results.  Our entire faculty, not just those who taught last year’s 10th grade students in math or ELA, also worked tirelessly to ensure that all of our students were successful.  And I’m thankful for our parents and guardians, whose help of students and support of the school has been so important.  What we are particularly proud of is the progress made by our students who, two and three years ago, were not performing well on these exams.  MCAS accolades are, of course, welcome, but we continue to measure our success by the number of students admitted to, attending, and graduating from college.”

Hallmarks of CCSC’s recipe for student success are its highly skilled teachers, data driven decision making and a culture of high expectations for all students. The school’s relatively small size (the 10th grade class numbered 41 students in 2012) ensures a high level of individual attention for all students. Last spring CCSC earned national recognition for its track record of improving middle school students’ academic growth, when it was named one of fourteen EPIC award winners by New Leaders, an education nonprofit based in New York City. (EPIC stands for Effective Practice Incentive Community, and the award provides cash grants to teachers and administrators involved directly in student growth.)

CCSC students react to news of their high MCAS scoresCCSC Dean of Curriculum and Program Becky Wilusz noted, “While the overall results are worth celebrating, the most impressive numbers in all the highly impressive numbers are those showing the degree to which our students’ results improved from their 8th grade performance to their 10th grade performance. The state uses a 100-point rating to rank schools on how much their students grow from year to year. CCSC was the only school in the entire state to get a growth rating of 80 or above for both math and English. Those results don’t happen by accident, and those numbers tell me that what we are doing as a school is working—our students are far outpacing their peers statewide in learning growth. “

Indeed, 10th graders at CCSC ranked 4th in the state for their median rate of growth in math scores from the 8th grade (+87%), and 5th in the state in English growth (+82%). No other school or district in the state ranked in the top five in both growth categories; this places CCSC among the top 2% of schools across Massachusetts for median growth from 8th to 10th grade.

“CCSC is the only school in the state whose 10th grade SGP (student growth percentile) is higher than 80% in both math and English,” Mr. Hurst-Hiller stated.

Denise Jillson, CCSC Board chair, said, “We are so proud of our school. Our 10th grade MCAS results are a testament to our hard-working students, exemplary teachers, committed staff, and to the parents and guardians who are full partners in our mission to educate their children. We are gratified, that together, our collective efforts are working.”

Founded in 2005, CCSC is a tuition-free college preparatory school, chartered for 360 students in grades 7-12. CCSC students come from Cambridge, Boston and 19 other towns. Since 2009, all graduating seniors at CCSC have gained college admission, 85% of them to four-year schools. Capitalizing on the school’s Kendall Square location, a cornerstone of the CCSC experience is a required 100-hour senior internship that provides students with real world experience at local technology firms, such as Google and Akamai, and universities, including nearby MIT, and other local businesses and nonprofits.

For complete MCAS scores, go to: 

Parents of current CCSC students who took the MCAS last spring will receive their child’s individual scores by mail within the next two weeks.