With the exception of a whopping gain among third graders, Bristol’s students posted lackluster results on the statewide Connecticut Mastery Tests taken in March.
As a whole, student test scores in Bristol rose slightly. But take out the third grade results and the showing may be downright disheartening for educators who have been trying to pump up test scores for years.
The percentage of fourth graders who achieved the state goal in writing, for example, plummeted 26 percent over last year, falling to 53.8 of the class citywide.
Nonetheless, in 11 of the 18 categories in which students this year can be compared with those taking the tests last year – which include math, reading and writing – city scores rose. It’s just that they didn’t go up much, except for third graders.
The annual CMT tests are given to about 250,000 students across the state every year to assess their achievements in core subjects. This year, two grades were given science tests for the first time, but math, reading and writing have been staples for years.
The highest percentage of students achieving goal came on the seventh grade reading test, on which 71.1 percent of the test takers in Bristol met or exceeded the goal.
The worst showing came on the new fifth grade science test. Only 45.6 percent of city students met the state goal on it.
In general, the scores were higher than the districts against which the state compares Bristol, but trailed well behind the districts that Superintendent Philip Streifer said he wants to see Bristol compete against, including Southington and West Hartford.
It isn’t clear yet how individual schools in the city stacked up compared to previous years.
Here are the results for each grade, with the first number showing the percentage of students who met the state’s goal and the number in brackets showing the gain or loss from the previous year:
3rd grade – Math – 70.2 (+9); Reading – 52.4 (+4.6); 69.4 (+12.2)
4th grade – Math - 59.7 (-5.2); Reading – 52.8 (-4.6); Writing – 53.8 (-14.2)
5th grade – Math – 62.5 (-3.4); Reading – 60.9 (+1.4); Writing – 61.4 (-5.3); Science – 45.6.
6th grade – Math – 66.3 (+3.5); Reading – 65.2 (+2.6); Writing – 54 (-3.8)
7th grade – Math – 60.4 (+0.7); Reading – 71.1 (+2.7); Writing - 57 (+1.8)
8th grade – Math – 63.1 (+5.1); Reading – 67.7 (-2.5); Writing – 59.3 (-1.9); Science – 60.2.
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