Updated, 10:39 p.m.
NORWALK, Conn. – This year's class of Norwalk sophomores did not score as well on the Connecticut's standardized education test as last year's class in three of four areas – and on the fourth, they were just barely ahead. Meanwhile, Norwalk's elementary students have mixed results.
The Connecticut Mastery Test (CMT) and Connecticut Academic Performance Test (CAPT) are administered annually in March to students across Connecticut. The CMT tests math, reading and writing for grades three through eight, and science for grades five and eight. The CAPT covers math, reading, writing and science for 10th-grade students. Both have five levels of performance for each subject: below basic, basic, proficient, goal and advanced.
If you're surprised the scores came out today you're not alone: Superintendent Susan Marks said she had gotten "about 15 minutes notice" on the release. She found plenty to be pleased about.
"I think things are continuing to be in a very, very positive good growth in the elementary and we certainly have some work to do in the CAPT," she said.
- Third-grade average scale scores are up for the third consecutive year in math, reading and writing.
- Fourth-grade average scale scores are also up across the board (math, reading and science).
- Fifth-grade average scale scores are down in math and writing, but up in science and reading.
- Sixth-grade average scale scores are up in math and writing, down slightly in reading.
- Seventh-grade average scale scores are down slightly in math and up in reading and writing.
- Eighth-grade average scale scores down in math but jumped in writing, science and reading.
- Tenth-graders' average scale scores are up in reading, but down in math, science and writing.
Scores overall are up from the first year most of the tests were administered, in 2006, except in the sophomore's science scores.
"In general, our elementary schools continue to show increases," Marks said. "The largest gains this year were made in third-grade math. Grade-eight had a 2.9 gain in proficiency.
"One out of every three elementary students and one out of every four middle school students were at advanced level in mathematics. I'm really pleased about that."
The average scale score in third-grade math this year was 269.8, up from 260.4 in 2011 and 260.6 in 2010.
Norwalk exceeded the state's proficiency in reading at grade 5. Grade 6 is less than a percentage point behind the state in reading proficiency.
"Between 2011 and 2012 every grade has increased in the percentage of students reaching goal level," Marks said. "The largest gains this year were in grade 5 and grade 3. Norwalk had higher goal gains compared to the state in all tested grades."
It's a different story at the high school level. "The CAPT is basically flat or slightly or decreased, this has been a trend over the past several years," Marks said. "One highlight is writing proficiency increased 4.3 percent since 2007. Over time there is positive trend in writing at the high school level."