According to today's Salem News, Beverly was "one of 10 Massachusetts school districts newly flagged by the state because MCAS scores didn't reach federal targets for improvement" in last years results.
In addition to the district warning, Beverly High School, and Centerville Elementary "were also placed on 'needs improvement' status for the first time because low-income and special-education students failed to make the required adequate yearly progress in math and English-language arts for the second year in a row." Ayers and North Beverly already were rated as "needs improvement" in this category, and remain so.
According to the News report:
Schools that don't meet the required test scores are placed on "accountability status," a type of probation. The first level is "needs improvement." If they don't improve after two years, they move to the corrective action category, and eventually, the restructuring category if scores still don't improve.
...overall test scores were either equal to or slightly above the state average in English, particularly the sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders. Math scores were generally a couple of points below the state average, particularly in eighth grade.
Assistant Superintendent Marie Galinski, speaking for the district responded to the report saying "Even though we were identified for improvement, if you look at our aggregate we have very high scores...It's much more difficult for subgroups to make AYP,Especially when you don't have the resources."
The print edition of the paper also lists the 3rd and 10th grade results for all regional towns.
UPDATE: The Boston Globe has a story on the overall downward trend among Masschusetts schools.