Administrator finds schools’ rankings pleasing

Tuttle-Building

NAUGATUCK — Although Naugatuck missed its target scores overall on the state’s standardized tests, Assistant Superintendent of Schools Christopher Montini is pleased with where borough schools stand under the new ranking system.

“I’m pleased to say that, even though we are an Alliance District, we do not have any review, focus or turnaround schools, even though the far majority of schools within those Alliance Districts do have those designations,” Montini said during a Dec. 12 presentation to the Board of Education on the borough’s school and district performance reports.

The Connecticut Department of Education released the performance reports for schools and districts early this month. The reports are based mostly on the scores from the Connecticut Mastery Test and the Connecticut Academic Performance Test administrated last March.

The new system came about after the state was granted a waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind act last year. Under Connecticut’s system, schools, students and districts are measured on a point system that works on a scale of 0 to 100. The state has set a target for schools and all their subgroups to score above 88 by 2024.

All schools need to be half way to the state goal by 2018, Montini said.

Montini said to earn a perfect score of 100 a school would have to have every student score at goal or higher on their state tests scores. Graduation rates and achievement gaps are also factored in a school’s score.

Schools are classified as excelling, progressing, transitioning, review, focus or turnaround. The lowest three designations, review, focus, and turnaround, require that the schools receive state oversight, Montini said.

Of the 11 schools in the district only Western Elementary School and Hillside Intermediate School were in the progressing category since they surpassed their target goals.

City Hill Middle School also surpassed its target goal but, since it had a large achievement gap in the student population, it was considered a transitioning school, Montini said.

The other eight schools are in the transitioning category, which means although they did not meet their goals they scored better than a 64 overall.

“We don’t have any numbers that are all that close to excelling. We have some nice scores that you’ll see are in the 70s, but that’s still a ways to go before 88. We just missed, in several schools, making the progressing mark,” Montini said.

The district improved in its overall CMT scores from 72.3 to 73.1. However, the increase wasn’t enough to meet its goal of 73.5

Montini said the overall progress shows the district is moving more students towards the goal benchmark.

Naugatuck’s overall score on the CAPT was 67.8, which was short of the 74.4 target.

Montini said the district does not have an adequate baseline to examine right away following the closure of Central Avenue Elementary School last year. 

“Something happened here in Naugatuck that really impacted our baseline scores, and that is that every school but Western’s population changed with closing of one of our schools. So you have a baseline, essentially, that is not a true baseline for those individual schools,” Montini said. “That’s not to say by any means there is excuse making, but essentially all schools but Western had a different baseline population. So the baseline isn’t all that appropriate.”

Board member Glenn Connan questioned whether parents could be provided a report for their individual student under the new system.

Montini said that it’s possible, but only if the child’s school did it.

“This is essentially a report card for schools. The schools would then have to get individual results and, through spreadsheets, calculate themselves,” Montini said.

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