[Editor's Note: The following is based on a press release. Detailed results can be found on CTReports.com.]
Student performance on the Connecticut Mastery Test increased in several grades and subjects from last year, continuing a trend of incremental improvement since the CMT baseline year of 2006. The most consistent and significant increases in performance were in reading and writing; student performance in math and science increased in the early grades but declined in later grades.
The results of the 2012 Connecticut Academic Performance Test (CAPT) were mixed. While student performance increased in all content areas when compared to the CAPT baseline year of 2007, it decreased in some areas when compared to last year. Compared to 2011, performance increased slightly in writing, remained relatively constant in science and reading, and decreased in mathematics.
Different metrics for measuring Connecticut’s income-based achievement gap (using eligibility for free or reduced price meals as a proxy for poverty) paint a mixed picture of whether the gaps are narrowing.
Examining changes in the percentage of students who perform at or above the Proficient and Goal levels shows that in nearly every grade level and content area, the gaps between low- and higher-income students have narrowed since 2006, further closing in the most recent year. Vertical scale score data, which measures cohort growth over time, shows the gap narrowing modestly in some content areas, but also reveals cases in which the gap is widening. Both metrics clearly reveal that the gap in achievement between low- and higher-income students persists, with more than twice the percentage of higher-income students performing at or above the Goal level than lower-income students in many grade levels and content areas.
“We’re pleased to see that there are signs of progress in our schools. That said — while schools are moving more students into Proficient- and Goal-level performance, significant gaps in achievement continue between economically disadvantaged students and their peers,” Stefan Pryor, Connecticut Commissioner of Education said. “So there is reason for optimism regarding our system’s ability to advance, as well as cause for continuing concern. We need to work together to implement the reforms and initiatives we’ve recently launched in order to build on areas of progress and remedy the persistent problems in our schools.”
The CAPT assesses more 40,000 students on their integration and application of skills in the academic content areas of mathematics, reading across the disciplines, writing across the disciplines, and science.