The news is out regarding the 2008 state test results, and it is not encouraging. The Department of Education has released data for statewide examinations administered to public school students: Connecticut Mastery Test (CMT) for students in grades three through eight and the Connecticut Academic Performance Test (CAPT) for tenth graders. The results indicate that over 40% of Connecticut public schools failed to meet performance standards required under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.
In a statement released on September 10, Commissioner Mark E. McQuillan admitted, “A total of 408 schools did not meet the NCLB standard —Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP)—this year; that is about 40 percent of our schools and about 100 more schools than last year.”
The Federal standards for proficiency in math and reading increased this year, from 70% to 80%. In 2010, the goal will be 90% and 100% by 2014. He admitted that reaching the adequate yearly progress goal would require improvement in “early reading instruction in our districts. Restoring the Early Reading Success grants and our continuing work that was begun at last year’s reading summit are important pieces of the puzzle.”
The statewide statistics appear below:
AYP Status for 2008
• Of 805 elementary and middle schools, 349 did not make AYP – an increase of 84 over last year’s
• Of Connecticut’s 182 public high schools, 59 did not make AYP – 9 more than last year.
• Of the state’s 171 school districts, 44 did not make AYP – 12 more than last year.
(Source: “News Connecticut Department of Education” 9/10/08)
At the high school level (CAPT) math poses a larger problem than reading. Poor math scores resulted in a third of the high schools not achieving the AYP goal. Therefore, in January 2009, the Department of Education will send proposals for reform of math and science education to the General Assembly. The department is also working directly with fifteen of the state’s largest districts to “turn around schools that have been struggling for years.” No schools on the immediate Shoreline have been identified for assistance.