NEW HAVEN PUBLIC SCHOOL STUDENTS SHOW SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENTS, ACHIEVE RECORD GAINS IN CMT READING AT EVERY GRADE LEVEL

 
 **Please click the link at the bottom of the page to download the full press release that includes the graphs and charts**

-News Release-
 
Increases Across The Board And Indicators On Where Improvement Is Needed Pave The Way For Implementation Of Comprehensive Reform Initiative
 

NEW HAVEN - The State Department of Education released Connecticut Mastery Test (CMT) and Connecticut Academic Performance Test (CAPT) results for all districts in the state today. New Haven results show that students made unprecedented gains in reading and significant gains in mathematics while the district as a whole made substantial progress on a variety of CMT measures.
 
“Our increased use of data for decision making at the classroom and administrative levels is paying off,” said Dr. Reginald Mayo, New Haven Public School Superintendent. “Over the course of the past several years we’ve been gaining momentum to get us to this critical point of student achievement. We are now positioned to take on the most comprehensive school reform initiative experienced not only in any district in the State but above and beyond what most districts nationwide have undergone. We did well this year as we continue to build upon the success of data-based decision making we’ve implemented over the past few years. But, we have a long way to go and we’re ready to take all of our schools to the next level.”
 
New Haven’s success is due in part to an increased reliance on data-based decision making, an emphasis on training teachers and administrators to better use data to make decisions in the classroom and at levels and the implementation of tools such as SchoolNet that provide a collection of students academic data for analysis by teachers and administrators. Now that the district has SchoolNet, classroom level data can be analyzed and viewed by teacher.
 
“Our incremental gains in all subjects across all grade levels demonstrate the great potential in our District for significant improvement and for a level of success that will bring us to the forefront of academic excellence at a national level,” said Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. “We can’t expect to get the level we’re aiming for overnight but we’re making gains every year and with the implementation of our school reform initiatives that will kick-off this fall, we’re going to bring our students to new levels of achievement school by school.”
 
Districtwide, students demonstrated its most significant improvement in the area of reading where, as a whole, proficiency increased by 1.6 percent in grade 3, 6 percent in grade 4, 10.8 percent in grade 5, 4.7 percent in grade 6, 11.6 percent in grade 7 and 7.3 percent in grade 8.
 
“Double digit gains are rare in state testing,” said Mayo. “For our students to achieve 10.8 percent improvement in grade 5 and 11.6 percent in grade 7 is amazing and underscores the important work taking place in our classrooms every day.”
 
The City’s math scores have increased consistently on an annual basis with the most impressive gains this year including: 3.1 percent in grade 8, 5.5 percent improvement in grade 5 and 7.5 percent in grade 7 citywide.
 
Mayo said that from a longer-term perspective “4 years of CMT data from assessments given in 2006 though 2009 is a better indicator of how far the district has moved in reading since the tests were first administered in 2006.  They showed that the group of students who took the test in 2009 performed considerably higher than the students who took essentially the same test in 2006.”  According to Mayo, that data suggests that the early programs NHPS have in place are having strong and steady impact on each group of students who take the test. 
 
“Hopefully, Connecticut will implement real longitudinal data where individual students are followed year to year to identify Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). This is the model of data analysis recommended by Secretary of Education Arnie Duncan,” said Mayo.
  
 

 

Using the Cohort Reporting Method, the same group of students who took the CMT in 2009 showed dramatic growth when compared to their own performance on the CMT in the previous grade in 2008.  Outstanding double digit growth was shown by students in nearly every grade.  “We consider these numbers significant as they provide us with a good picture as to what level of improvement our students are making as they move from grade to grade.” said Mayo. (See Chart 3)
  
 
Taking the cohort model further, the district is able to monitor the progress of the same group of students over 4 years. Again, NHPS students demonstrate remarkable growth when compared to their own performance in previous grades
 (See chart 4)
 

Mayo drew attention to several schools in the district, which he said deserve recognition for their own outstanding student progress.  Mayo said that he highlighted these schools because they stand out as schools making very strong progress in both reading and mathematics.
 
Mayo said that because of intensive focus placed on improving reading and math he wanted to highlight the schools which made the most substantial gains in those areas subject from a whole school perspective.  “While several other schools have made adequate gains in some grades, these school leaders have each presented very specific models, which emphasize non-negotiable focuses on data analysis, strong instructional planning based on individual student needs, and monitoring for consistent high quality instruction.”

Preliminary results indicate improvement in both the Black-White and the Hispanic-White achievement gaps for CMT scores in reading and math. Since 2006, both the math and reading Black-White and Hispanic-White achievement gaps have been reduced. The 2009 math Hispanic-White achievement gap is now well under 20 points. The 2009 Black-White achievement gap in reading was reduced by three points as a result of significant improvements in the performance of Black students as compared to White students.
 
For all grades combined reduced achievement gap by three points when comparing Black and White students
 
“We still have a long way to go to eliminate our achievement gaps,” said Mayo. “But, we’re headed in the right direction and look forward to working closely with our teachers and administrators to close all gaps and ensure that all of our students are able to achieve their maximum potential.”
 
At the high school level, Cooperative Arts and Humanities High School (Coop) led the district in both year to year and over time measures in all four content areas on the 2009 CAPT. Metropolitan Business made significant gains across the board while the Sound School achieved positive changes in two content areas. Coop achieved double digits gains toward goal in reading while Metropolitan Business posted double digit gains in writing and Sound School achieved impressive improvement in both reading and writing. District scores on average, however, took a dip.
 
“With the exception of notable improvements at several schools, we’re not where we wanted to be this year in terms of our CAPT scores,” said Mayo. “We are disappointed with our performance at several schools and we’re keeping our eye on the areas and the schools that require the most improvement. Our high schools are not, for the most part, meeting the high growth standards we have established for students in our revised district improvement plan and this year’s CAPT results reveal a growth at a pace that is unacceptable. We know that our students are capable of much more and we must help them demonstrate this.”
Dr. Mayo, Charles Williams (Director of High Schools) and the curriculum supervisors will take a more analytical look at what is happening in the City’s high schools and develop a comprehensive action plan for each.
 
Compared to similar-size districts throughout the state, New Haven’s CAPT scores brought the district to first place in all four content areas at all grade levels. For CMT results New Haven scored above Hartford and Bridgeport in math and reading from grades four through eight (tying with Bridgeport in grade 6 math).
 
“Our reading scores demonstrate that we are among the fastest improving districts in the state, especially as compared to other cities our size. But, we’re not satisfied with where we are. Our students deserve, and can achieve, much more. It is our job to help them open every possible window of opportunity and, with hard work and dedication, ensure that they all have the chance to go to college and secure successful futures. That’s what our school reform efforts will deliver with the partnership of our teachers, administrators, parents and community leaders,” said DeStefano.
 
[END]

 

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