“It has been a major concern ... and now we are trying to rectify it,” Scully said. “It will take a few years to make it happen.”
Scully noted that the system has focused on what he calls target instruction, which provides extra help to children who are failing. Schools have added tutoring before and after school, but money for that is not coming out of the school budget.
“All of these tutoring programs are not out of city dollars,” Scully said. “We don’t have money in the budget for that. We are seeking grants.
“We are not given financial resources that other communities have had,’’ he said. “We have done it all on our own (through) grants.”
While the negatives of the MCAS results did stand out for Scully, there were also some positives he highlighted. Districtwide, there were more improvements than declines and minority test scores, which have been a focus in recent years, also improved.
“We are continuing to improve in areas,’’ he said. “You can see the increase in English (scores). We were way behind and we have completely reversed that. The same goes for special education and for the Hispanic population. These subgroups have been our challenge.”