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Norwalk Schools Test Scores Rise Across the Board

[Updated 7/14] NORWALK, Conn. — The city’s 2011 Connecticut Mastery Test results are full of good news. The test results , which were released Wednesday, show gains over last year — in some cases, jumps of more than 5 percentage points — in math, reading and writing at several grade levels. Since 2006, the test results show double-digit improvements in various subjects and grades.

“I’m encouraged by the CMT results,” says Superintendent Susan Marks. “We are moving in a positive direction.”

Marks points out that this year, one in three elementary school students attained the top level of advanced in math. In middle school, one in four students reached the advanced level in math.

“I’m especially glad that we are moving our students into the advanced category,” she says. Although most of the CMT results focus on proficiency and goal level results, Marks says the district should be aiming for advanced levels.

Marks praised the marked improvement in middle school scores this year, especially in grade 6 and 8. In grade 6, goal math scores jumped to 60.5 percent from 53.3 percent. In eighth grade, that number went to 62.2 percent from 53.9 percent — 8 percentage points higher. In reading, grade 8 students went from 61 percent at goal last year to 66.5 percent this year. Grade 8 writing scores also jumped more than 10 percentage points from last year to 57.1 percent at goal this year.

“We weren’t talking so positively about the middle school scores last year,” says Marks. “There has been a lot of focused strategies on literacy and math in the middle schools.”

Diane Filardo, Norwalk schools’ testing specialist, says the gap between Norwalk and the state’s scores is closing. “In some areas, Norwalk surpasses the state proficiency levels.” In third grade math, for example, there is less than a point difference between goal levels between Norwalk and the state

Filardo, who is just beginning to disaggregate the data by ethnicity and special needs students, says that that she is seeing positive results from the city's Hispanic and free and reduced lunch population.  "Hispanic students are meeting proficiency at higher levels and outperforming their peers in the state."

The results of the CAPT – the Connecticut Academic Performance Test — taken by high school sophomores are less impressive than the CMT scores. “They were more flat than we would have liked,” says Marks noting that the high schools need more support.

The CMT and CAPT are administered annually in March to students across Connecticut. They test math, reading and writing. Grades 5, 8 and 10 are also tested in science. The test was taken by 250,000 children statewide and has five levels of performance for each content area: below basic, basic, proficient, goal and advanced. The federal government uses the CMT and CAPT to measure yearly progress under the No Child Left Behind law.

For the 2011 CMT, percentage of students at or above goal:

2006      2010     2011

Grade 3

Math,                             47.4,      64,         62.5

Reading,                        45.7,      51.4,       51.9

Writing                           52.8,      56.3,      56.4

Grade 4

Math,                             43.6,      62.3,       66

Reading,                        45.6,      53.6,       54.9

Writing,                          51.7,      59.2,       62.3

Grade 5

Math,                             51.3,      68.1,        70.9

Reading,                        53.1,      54.8,       57.4

Writing,                          60.2,      65.1,       65.1

Grade 6

Math,                             47,         53.3,      60.5

Reading,                        57.2,      66,          67.8

Writing,                          55.6,      50.7,       54.1

Grade 7

Math,                              40.1,      63.3,      62.5

Reading,                         56.5,      70.8,      74

Writing,                           46.3,      48.9,      50.1

Grade 8

Math,                              42.4,      53.9,      62.7

Reading,                          57.4,     60.9,      66.5

Writing,                           54.4,     45.4,      57.1

Are you happy with the CMT and CAPT results in Norwalk? Leave a comment below.

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