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New London Schools Show Steady Improvement

State Department of Education District Performance Reports indicate achievement for New London students.

Students at Winthrop Elementary Magnet School show marked improvement, moving the school out of the category that classified it as a Title 1 school with one of the lowest performing subgroups.
Students at Winthrop Elementary Magnet School show marked improvement, moving the school out of the category that classified it as a Title 1 school with one of the lowest performing subgroups.


A Press Release from New London Public Schools

New London Public Schools’ students have achieved District Performance Index targets set by the state Department of Education for 2012-13 on the Connecticut Mastery Test and the Connecticut Academic Performance Test.

The Connecticut District Performance Report released on December 5 indicates that New London Public Schools’ students and staff have again demonstrated their commitment to learning and student success.

Winthrop Elementary Magnet School was one of 13 schools in the state to demonstrate sustained subgroup performance and exit a classification category, according to the performance report. In the fall of 2012, Winthrop was one of the state’s 49 elementary or middle schools with at least one of the lowest performing subgroups and was identified as a Focus school.

“The staff, students and parents of the New London Public Schools deserve great credit for the progress we are making in creating a tradition of academic excellence,” Superintendent of Schools Nicholas A. Fischer said. “That the enrollment of the New London Public Schools has grown by more than 330 students over the past two years shows that we are building a community of believers…people who believe that New London is a great place to go to school.”

Under the state department’s new accountability system, each Connecticut school is classified under six categories: Excelling; Progressing: Transitioning; Review; Focus and Turnaround. These classifications are used to mark school performance levels and track student achievement.

“Our accountability system is designed both to recognize the progress our schools are making and to reveal the challenges where they exist. 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,” said CSDE Commissioner Stefan Pryor in a press release. “We encourage educators and parents to draw upon these reports – as well as other forms of input and insight – as they continue working together for our schools’ and our students’ success. ”

With the Focus classification, Winthrop was required to design and implement targeted interventions to improve student outcomes for their Hispanic and Latino students. Two years of demonstrated improvement is required to exit Focus status, and because Winthrop has shown sustained improvement the school exited Focus status this year. They are now classified as Review.

Excelling, Progressing and Transitioning Schools were classified for the first time at the end of the 2012-2013 school year. That same year, more than two-thirds of Connecticut schools earned a Progressing or Transitioning classification.

This year, Nathan Hale Magnet Elementary School for Performing and Visual Arts is classified as Transitioning; Jennings Elementary School is classified as Focus; Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School is classified as Review; and New London High School is classified as Turnaround.

Since the 2009-10 school year, the New London District Improvement Index (DPI) on the CMT has improved by 3.8 points to 61.4. DPI performance on the CAPT has improved from the 2009-10 school year by 5.5 points to 51.4.

The District Performance Index is issued by the state Department of Education and is based on student test performance of all subjects tested in the respective assessment for all New London Public Schools’ students (e.g. CMT and CAPT). The purpose of the rating systems is for the state and the district to use to identify which schools need more support. The state department provides these indexes for the whole district, individual schools, all subgroups, and subject areas. 

“The numbers are used to hold districts and schools accountable for increasing student achievement in all of these categories,” Chief Academic Officer Katherine Ericson said. “While New London has demonstrated growth in five years, our standardized testing data is one factor in how the district defines next steps in our overall Strategic Operating Plan.”

The performance report also shows that none of New London's schools have more than 10 DPI points existing between the achievement of the majority of subgroups and the all students group, indicating a closure of the achievement gap. This DPI score however, excludes students with high needs.

Reaching the state’s specified DPI targets mirrors New London students' achievements on this year’s CMT, where elementary and middle school students earned the district’s overall largest improvements in reading, writing, mathematics and science with increases at or above the goal and proficient levels.

Bennie Dover, Winthrop and New London High School achieved their DPI and SPI targets for 2012-13. According to the state department, the target for schools is 88 SPI points on the 0-100 School Performance Index (SPI) scale.

DPI targets on the writing portion of the CMT were achieved across the board by students in all subgroups: Black or African American; Hispanic or Latino; English Language Learners; Free and Reduced Lunch; students with disabilities and students with high needs.

To view District and School Performance Reports, please visit:

http://www.csde.state.ct.us/public/performancereports/20122013reports.asp

silas merrimack December 07, 2013 at 03:34 PM
Nice work teachers and staff! Despite the terrible budget and lack of resources you are making it work! Credit where credit is due. Keep up the great work.
Kenneth R. Lewis December 08, 2013 at 09:40 AM
Look at the entire report. The results are not as great as many would like you to believe. The high school is still in the lowest category and the improvements that are depicted are only slight. Wake up people and get the whole story. The budget is not terrible, New London spends more money per student than most of the school districts in the entire state and the results still are on the bottom. Do not listen to the lies, ask the tough questions and then you will know. Why do you think the city council year after year cannot get a complete school budget?
Liza Smith December 19, 2013 at 05:14 PM
Facts? Spreadsheets? Sources? Unless you have some evidence to share about cost comparisons your point is not made. I'd love to see a story about any school that started out low ad magically jumped to the top overnight.
Marie Friess-McSparran December 20, 2013 at 02:57 PM
Liza Smith... here are the facts you need to see before you can believe. I have also cited the sites for my factgs. We are at the bottom of the list in student achievement for the State of CT with our three recently built schools, Jennings, Winthrop and Nathan Hale falling at 453,427 and 426 respectively out of the 523 schools in the state, but at the top of per pupil spending in the state at $13,756.60 per student. http://www.schooldigger.com/go/CT/schoolrank.aspx?sortexp=LCITY&sortdir=a&year=2012&findletter=N, http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/lib/sde/PDF/dgm/report1/basiccon.pdf,

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