Results are in from the latest state testing designed to measure school performance, but because the tests have been changed so often, the results themselves are hard to assess, Island educators say.

In general, Martha’s Vineyard schools did very well, in particular the Tisbury School which scored at least 20 percentage points above the state average in all grades and subjects for meeting or exceeding expectations. Seventh graders in Tisbury scored 36 percentage points above the state average for English language arts (ELA) and 34 percentage points above the state average for math.

“I think across the Island, student growth was very good,” said Vineyard schools superintendent Matthew D’Andrea. “Science was very strong but there were definitely pockets of areas we need to focus on.”

For about a decade, public school students took the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS), but then in 2015 schools began adopting the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers or PARCC exam. In the spring of 2017, however, students in grades three through eight were given the next generation MCAS, a sort of hybrid of the two tests.

“This whole kind of turnover, going to PARCC and then the new assessments, has disrupted the momentum,” Mr. D’Andrea said. “So it will be nice to have the consistency and the ability to see how we are doing things, what we are doing well and what we can work on.”

“Tisbury did very well,” the superintendent confirmed. “As a matter of fact I saw on a website they did 14th in the state for districts as far as the new MCAS.”

The West Tisbury School scored consistently above state averages for meeting or exceeding expectations with a particular jump in sixth grade for ELA (16 points above the average) and math (17 points above the average). Fifth and eighth grade science scores were also high at 22 points above the state average for fifth graders and 39 points above the state average for eight graders. Eighth graders fared less well in ELA (17 points below the state average) and math (one point below the state average). Chilmark fifth graders were well above state averages for math (31 points) and science (14 points) but below the state average for ELA by six percentage points. The Oak Bluffs School was well above state averages for science — 11 points above for fifth graders and 21 points higher for eight graders. Third through eighth graders were at or above state averages for meeting or exceeding expectations in nearly every grade, with particularly high marks for fourth grade ELA and math, and sixth grade ELA.

The Edgartown School was on the low end for meeting or exceeding expectations, scoring close to the state average for ELA but below the state average for math in most grades. But the Edgartown school’s eighth graders scored very high in both math and ELA, and scores for science in grades five and eight were well above the state averages.

Mr. D’Andrea said he feels the new test is more rigorous, in particular because it is taken entirely online. “It’s definitely a new experience for the students,” he said.

High school sophomores took the previous version of MCAS and will continue to take the old test for a few more years. Mr. D’Andrea said the state felt it wouldn’t be fair to change the test that students were used to taking in the 10th grade because the stakes were too high. Students must pass the test in order to graduate.

Based on the latest round of testing, Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School remains a level two school. No level designations were assigned for the grammar schools since there is no way to compare the new test to the previous tests. Mr. D’Andrea said he welcomed the challenge to attain a number one level.

“You’ve got to break down the data and look at what areas you have done well and the areas you are not meeting the growth necessary for the students,” the superintendent said. “You really have to drill down, what are we doing in these areas, what are the structural practices, what is the curriculum, and make adjustments to improve in that area.”

Bob Moore, director of the Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School, agreed that the tests were an effective tool to gauge students’ progress. He is also pleased that consistency will now be a part of the testing process.

“I think that change is complicated and difficult for people,” he said. “I think if we can stay consistent over the next few years people will feel more comfortable. In my opinion, people aren’t offended by the test, they just want to make sure they understand it and what types of stories the tests are telling them about their children.”

The charter school was very close to state averages for meeting or exceeding expectations for nearly all grades, but then saw a significant, positive leap in grade eight. Charter school students in grade eight scored 22 points above the state average for ELA, 16 points above the state average for math, and 17 points above the state average for science.

Mr. Moore said this was consistent with previous results.

“Traditionally, if you look over the last five to six to 10 years, our seventh and eighth graders do quite well and show higher scores than they did in their earlier years,” he said. “I think it’s a matter of the kids being more comfortable with the test and the type of teaching that happens as the kids move through our school.”

He added that 10th graders at the school performed well on the test but their scores are not recorded on the state charts because the number of students is below 10. The charter school currently has nine sophomores.

“One hundred per cent of our 10th grade kids scored above proficient or at proficient,” Mr. Moore said.

Mr. D’Andrea and Mr. Moore both stressed that each grade can vary a lot from year to year, including the number of kids in a class, something that can make a big difference in smaller communities where the difference in just a few kids can result in large percentage point fluctuations.

“It’s not about comparing third graders this year to third graders next year, those are two different kids,” Mr. Moore said. “I like to look at how individuals are doing and how they are doing over a period of time, like three or four years.”

“And that’s going to be the case as we go forward,” he added, referring to a return to taking the same type of test each year. “I think that’s going to be informative for our community.”