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Norwalk Schools Post Mixed Results On State's 'Report Cards'

Nine of Norwalk's schools reached their target test scores last year, according to the state Department of Education.
Nine of Norwalk's schools reached their target test scores last year, according to the state Department of Education. Photo Credit: File

NORWALK, Conn. – About half of Norwalk’s schools are reaching their goals, but recent “report cards” issued by the state show that some schools are falling short of their targets and showing achievement gaps.

The Connecticut State Department of Education released its annual Performance Reports for all public schools in the state on Thursday, Dec. 5. The reports take into account scores on standardized tests and high school graduation rates to grade each school’s performance.

“These reports demonstrate that there are bright spots and best practices as well as areas in need of review and improvement in districts and schools across the state,” Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor said in a press release.

The reports give each school a Student Performance Index (SPI), which ranges from 1 to 100. The reports also track student groups based on race, economic standing and special needs, and identify potential achievement gaps for schools and districts to correct. Each school and district is then given one of six classifications: Excelling, Progressing, Transitioning, Review, Focus, or Turnaround.

The state’s goal is for all schools to have an SPI of 88 or higher, but the annual reports assign each district a goal score that would mark an improvement over the previous year. The state’s report says that more than half the schools in the state reached their target scores for the 2012-13 school year.

In Norwalk, all of the city’s schools were marked as either “Progressing” or “Transitioning.” But only three reached the higher “Progressing” mark: Cranbury Elementary, Jefferson Magnet and Ponus Ridge Middle School.

The district also reached its target SPI overall. Nine of the 18 schools assigned targets in Norwalk reached their goal according to the state: Cranbury, Jefferson Magnet, Rowayton, Marvin and Wolfpit Elementaries; Ponus Ridge, West Rocks and Roton middle schools, and Brien McMahon High School.

Brookside, Columbus Magnet, Kendall, Tracey, Fox Run, Naramake and Silvermine schools, Nathan Hale Middle School and Norwalk High fell short of their target scores. Briggs High School had a sample size too small to be assigned a target, according to the state.

The results also note that many of Norwalk’s schools are still struggling with achievement gaps. A total of 11 schools showed gaps for some groups in some areas, according to the state’s reports.

For example, English language learners were behind their peers in every subject overall in the Connecticut Mastery Tests (for grades 3 to 8) and the Connecticut Academic Performance Test (for high school students). Students with disabilities and those that qualify for free or reduced lunch also fell short of their targets in CAPT scores, according to the state report.

You can search for your school’s performance report on the Connecticut Department of Education website.

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