Thursday, December 1, 2011

Connecticut schools graded on student academic performance


ConnCAN has released report cards for the 2010-2011 school year, in which more than 1,000 Connecticut schools and corresponding districts received letter grades based on student academic performance.*

The report cards grade schools and districts across the state using students’ Connecticut Mastery Test (CMT) and Connecticut Academic Performance Test (CAPT) performance in four categories: 1) overall student performance; 2) performance gains (e.g., this year’s fifth graders compared to their performance last year as fourth graders); 3) student subgroup performance; and 4) achievement gap. This is the sixth year ConnCAN has released such report cards.

Click here to find a report card for any school or district in Connecticut.

Earlier this month, the National Assessment Governing Board released 2011 fourth and eighth grade reading and math performance on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as the Nation’s Report Card. According to NAEP, the Nutmeg State continues to have the nation’s largest achievement gap on average. Connecticut’s achievement gap was the largest in seven of 16 categories measured and had one of the top five largest gaps in 14 of the 16 reported categories.

“As we enter what Governor Malloy has dubbed ‘the year of education reform,’ it is more important than ever that we continue to demand full accountability and transparency in Connecticut’s public schools,” said ConnCAN CEO Patrick Riccards. “ConnCAN’s school report cards, Top 10 lists, and Success Story Schools honors give policymakers, practitioners, parents, and taxpayers invaluable information about the performance of all of our public schools. This analysis allows us to have an honest conversation about where we stand and where we need to go from here if we are serious about providing all Connecticut children access to great public schools.”

ConnCAN’s 2011 Success Story Schools are schools that have a combined low-income and minority population of at least 75 percent and at least one subgroup of students (African-American, Hispanic, or low-income) outperforming the state average performance for all students at that school level. This year, 24 schools (14 elementary, nine middle, and one high school) were recognized as ConnCAN Success Story Schools.

Click here to review ConnCAN’s Success Story Schools list.

“As noted in ConnCAN’s analysis of this year’s CMT and CAPT scores, Connecticut as a state continues to struggle with enormous achievement gaps and lagging performance for low-income and minority students,” Riccards said. “But we are seeing pockets of success, where policymakers, educators, and parents are coming together to create exceptional schools that are beating the odds. ConnCAN Success Story Schools honor celebrates that academic progress, showing what is possible and serving as bright spots for state leaders and educators to look to as they develop their education reform agenda.”

ConnCAN also released Top 10 lists of schools in each of five categories: performance gains and improvement (measured in percentage point change), and low-income, African-American, and Hispanic student performance (measured in percent of students at or above goal) for elementary, middle, and high schools.

Click here to review ConnCAN’s Top 10 lists.

*Note: ConnCAN uses the “goal” standard on the CMT and CAPT to set the bar for rating schools because it is the state’s best estimate of students meeting or exceeding grade level expectations. According to the State Department of Education, a student scoring at the “goal” level has the knowledge, skills, and critical thinking abilities that are “reasonable to expect of students” within their grade level.

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