Greenwich's educational ranking within the state has been much discussed and speculated about over the last few years. Much of these rankings as based on standardized test results.
In regards to the pertinence of test results, Deputy Superintendent Dr. Ellen Flanagan said last March that when Greenwich students took sharp No. 2 pencils to test grids, "While standardized testing is not the only evaluation of an individual child's performance, it is an important measure of how well we are doing as a district or a school, or with a subgroup of students."
And the results are in.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. William S. McKersie said, “In our initial review of the results of the 2012 CMT and CAPT assessments, we are pleased to see improvements in virtually every grade level (3-8, 10), assessment area (Reading, Writing, Math & Science), and achievement level (Proficiency, Mastery, and Advanced)."
McKersie went on to credit the village it takes to achieve these improvements. "These successes reflect many years of dedicated work and we applaud the staff of the Greenwich Public Schools, the supportive families, and of course, our students. Our objective now is to sustain and build upon these successes.”
While many stakeholders and taxpayers take note of Greenwich's "ranking" versus other similar and not so similar districts, the priority for parents and students should be their own individual scores.
As in the past, a hard copy of individual test results will be mailed home to parents some time in September, but thanks to the newly launched Greenwich Public Schools Parent Portal, will have access to the results sooner.
Last spring, the district launched access to the Parent Portal giving parents the ability to view their children's test scores and other pertinent information right at their fingertips. Following on the successful implementation of both student and staff portals, the district embarked on a beta-testing of the new parent portal last fall with a small group of parents. The full launch occurred at the end of April.
Similar to the other portals, the Parent Portal provides access to information on individual students, which should be especially useful to parents of secondary students. In fact, probably more than your student would like you to know!
What Information Is Available?
- General Information - Pre-k - grade 12
- Daily Attendance - grades 6-8
- Class Period Attendance - grades 9-12
- Progress Grades - grades 6-12 (CMS, WMS and GHS)
- Marking Period Grades - grades 6-8
- Academic Schedule - grades 6-12
- Homework - grades 6-12
- CMT Test Results - grades 3-8
- CAPT Test Results - grade 10
- DRP Test Results - grades 2-8
According the the Director of Technology for GPS Janice Gunnip, the Parent Portal will re-open for business when school starts on August 28th.
Gunnip says that "885 families utilized the portal during the 2011-2012 school year." Her hope is to significantly increase that number this year.
To this end, a Parentlink message will be disseminated again, informing parents of the opportunity. The department has a goal of implementing "the capability of a second parent login." when we open school. "We are committed to transparency," states Gunnip with the driver being "the educational support of students."
Parents play a significant role in that educational support and PTA Council President Lisa Beth Savitz states that "parents have long advocated for more accessible information, their own children's assessment results as well as broader data. The Parent Portal is a welcome development which we hope will provide timely and complete details about student performance. Communication like the Portal is a key component of family involvement, a cornerstone of national PTA's vision for student success."
What Happens Next With The Information?
Back to the test scores, administrators and teachers across the district are focused on utilizing the results released this summer to adjust, drive and concentrate on areas that need strengthening at every level, student, class, school and district. "The results of these tests help us determine where teachers and schools need to focus their improvement efforts," said Flanagan.
"Analyzing assessments such as the CMT's is an important first step in identifying areas of refinement for the coming school year. At Glenville School, as part of our initial back to school agenda, each teacher will analyze their incoming class' CMT scores to help guide future instructional decisions," explained Glenville School Principal Marc D'Amico.
School and instructional aata teams throughout Greenwich schools are undertaking this practice. And the efforts of teachers and administrators don't stop after one look at the scores. "These results are then reviewed continually through our instructional, and school, data team process," said D'Amico.
Results are also used as motivators. "Not only are the scores used to identify areas of focus but to highlight past successes and to celebrate the hard work and efforts of our students and faculty," said D'Amico.
The Annual Achievement Report will present the CMT, CAPT and other assessment data to the Board of Education at its first meeting of the school year on August 30 at Greenwich Town Hall.
Parents may utilize resources available on the CDE website to assist in deciphering the test results:
For CMT, click here
For CAPT, click here
The CDE also maintains an portal called the Connecticut Education Data and Research (CEDaR) portal, providing longitudinal data in the form of District and School Snapshots, Data Tables and agency publications such as the Strategic School Profiles and data bulletins.
A useful site for parents to visit is by eMetrics which provides CMT and CAPT results for CT.