Despite a “fairly dramatic” increase in the test scores needed for students to show adequate yearly progress under the federal No Child Left Behind law, city schools posted such a strong showing that Bristol remains the only priority school district in Connecticut that isn’t under state control.
Preliminary results from the state indicate that “the overall picture” in Bristol’s schools “is quite positive,” said Superintendent Philip Streifer.
Though the district as a whole met the proficiency targets with room to spare, some subgroups in particular schools failed to meet testing targets.
That means that seven city schools – Northeast Middle School and six primary schools – are likely to land on the “needs improvement” list because a subgroup didn’t do well. Subgroups include special education students and minority students.
O’Connell School, on the other hand, posted results that should get it off the list entirely.
Susan Moreau, deputy superintendent, said the numbers there “just stunned me” because more than 90 percent of its students demonstrated proficiency in math despite drawing from an area with many children from low-income families.
She called O’Connell’s results “really extraordinary.”
School officials said that “high expectations, effective instructional programming and outstanding staff” are the reason that Bristol students are able to score so well on tests in spite of a rising percentage of students from struggling families.
The overall level of success means that “Bristol is not required to offer school choice for any of our schools,” Streifer said.
One of the No Child Left Behind requirements is that parents have the option of moving their children out of failing schools into other schools in the district where students are doing better.
The tests were taken in the spring and the numbers released this summer.
Streifer said that district officials have much more to analyze to make sense of all the results, but are pleased with what they’ve been able to discern so far from the numbers.
The six elementary schools with subgroups that appear to have scored low enough to land the school on the “needs improvement” list are Bingham, Hubbell, Ivy Drive, Jennings, Mountain View and Southside.
Streifer said some of them missed passing “by a smidgeon.”
In general, the superintendent said, if just 10 percent of the students in each subgroup could better their scores, then all of the subgroups in each school would show adequate yearly progress.
Test State target Bristol’s results
CMT Math 82 87
CMT Reading 79 79
CAPT Math 80 90
CAPT Reading 82 95
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