Tenth grade students in the made major gains in the Connecticut Academic Performance Test, according to results released today.
The most significant improvements came in reading and writing. Students at or above goal levels in reading rose from 8.9 percent in 2011 to 21.7 percent this year, while those at or above proficiency rose from 37.4 percent to 70.7 percent. Those at or above goal in writing went from 15.4 percent in 2011 to 33.1 percent, while those at or above proficiency went from 52.5 percent to 77.1 percent.
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The district remains below the state averages on the CAPT in each category. However, the news came as a welcome development following , which were among the lowest in the state.
The full results and comparisons of the scores:
Percent at/above goal, math Percent at/above proficiency, math Percent at/above goal, science Percent at/above proficiency, science Percent at/above goal, reading Percent at/above proficiency, reading Percent at/above goal, writing Percent at/above proficiency, writing 2011 15.5 43.4 15.9 45.9 8.9 37.4 15.4 52.5 2012 21.7 59 26.6 64.6 21.7 70.7 33.1 77.1 2012 state average 49.3 78.8 47.3 80.2 47.5 80.9 63.1 88.8
Dr. Nicholas Fischer, superintendent of the New London Public Schools, said the district also showed improvements in several areas of the Connecticut Mastery Test, which is given to grades three through eight. Fischer said improvements were shown in all or most categories, with the exception of sixth grade.
“We are delighted and encouraged to see this positive trend of improved student achievement,” said Fischer. “It is the direct result of an intensified focus by teachers and administrators on making significant gains.”
The district following the 2011 results. Fischer said efforts that contributed to the improved results included improved instructional practices, a more intensive core mathematics program, development of the curriculum for mathematics and literacy, intervention groups for literacy and mathematics, and the use of the CAPT data to address student needs.
Bill Morse, president of the Board of Education, said he considered the results a coordinated effort by the teachers, the students, and the administrators.
“There’s been a lot of teamwork among teachers going over lesson plans, assessment results, tracking of individual students, and this is paying off,” he said. “The classroom teachers are no longer isolated.”
I think we’re on the right track now, especially the high school now under [principal] Tommie Thompson,” said board member Barbara Major. “I’m thrilled. I could not be happier.”
Board secretary Jason Catala also praised Thompson for his “CAPT Academy” academic improvement program, but said he felt the teachers deserved the most credit.
“This is almost a historic day for us to move forward and continue to grow,” he said.
Looking to the future
The news comes early in a tumultuous fiscal year for the district. The Department of Education appointed Dr. Steven Adamowski to for New London Public Schools following . Schools may have to cut programs and staff due to budget constraints.
Major said the district should continue to evaluate teachers and assist them with any difficulties. She also said students should not be advanced without understanding material at their age level, and that more attention should be given to the elementary school progress.
“We’re making great strides,” said Major. “It’s time to hear good things about New London.”
Catala said the district should focus on maintaining programs that have helped student achievement, especially ones put into place in the past year to focus on the CAPT. Morse said the schools have improved reading and writing by incorporating it into different subjects. He said the district should continue this emphasis on literacy as well as professional development and administrative support for teachers.
“I expect more dramatic results in a year’s time,” he said.
Fischer said the results will again be helpful in assisting the district with the goal of improving scores.
“While the increases in general show progress we can be proud of, there are areas in which there is still work to do,” Fischer said. “This latest data provides important information that will help us take action addressing this concern.”
Original breaking news
New London scores on the Connecticut Academic Performance Test showed a significant improvement from last year, with a greater percentage of students reaching goal or proficiency levels than in 2011.
Scores from tenth grade students in the New London Public Schools improved across the board, but remained below the state average.
Percent at/above goal, math Percent at/above proficiency, math Percent at/above goal, science Percent at/above proficiency, science Percent at/above goal, reading Percent at/above proficiency, reading Percent at/above goal, writing Percent at/above proficiency, writing 2011 15.5 43.4 15.9 45.9 8.9 37.4 15.4 52.5 2012 21.7 59 26.6 64.6 21.7 70.7 33.1 77.1
Eighth grade scores on the Connecticut Mastery Test showed improvement in math, reading, and science but a decline in writing.
Percent at/above goal, math Percent at/above proficiency, math Percent at/above goal, reading Percent at/above proficiency, reading Percent at/above goal, writing Percent at/above proficiency, writing Percent at/above goal, science Percent at/above proficiency, science 2011 17.8 51.1 43.8 61.9 39.9 69.1 24.7 41 2012 23.5 63.6 48.4 67.3 39.1 68.9 27.7 46
A full story will be posted this evening.