Schools get grades under new system

School-News

The majority of schools in Naugatuck and Region 16 have been labeled as “transitioning” under the state’s new ranking system.

The Connecticut Department of Education released the performance reports for schools and districts last week. The reports are based mostly on the scores from the Connecticut Mastery Test and the Connecticut Academic Performance Test administrated last March, while other statistics, such as graduation rates and rates of participation in the tests, are factored into the scores as well.

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 by 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.

The annual improvement targets for schools are based on how far away they started from the target of 88. A school that is performing well has less growth to make while those that are underperforming face a much steeper climb.

The state’s system lays out new labels for schools as well. Schools are classified as excelling, progressing, transitioning, review, focus or turnaround. Review schools are generally struggling. Focus schools are performing among the lowest in the state. Turnaround schools are among the lowest performing overall.

Nine out of the 14 public schools in Naugatuck and Region 16, which oversees schools in Beacon Falls and Prospect, are transitioning according to the reports.

In Naugatuck, Andrew Avenue, Hop Brook, Maple Hill and Salem elementary schools along with City Hill Middle School, Cross Street Intermediate School and Naugatuck High School have been tagged transitioning. In Region 16, Algonquin and Community schools have been given the label.

According to the state Department of Education’s website, a school that is transitioning has an overall school performance index of 64 to 87 and a CAPT participation rate of at least 95 percent and misses one or more of the progressing criteria.

Region 16’s Laurel Ledge School, Long River Middle School and Woodland Regional High School along with Hillside Intermediate School and Western School in Naugatuck have been classified as progressing.

A school is deemed progressing if it has an overall score of 88 or above and a CAPT participation rate of at least 95 percent and misses one or more of the excelling criteria. A school can also earn the classification by scoring between 64 and 87, having a CAPT participation rate of at least 95 percent, meeting its annual targets and having a small gap between the majority of subgroups of students.

According to state school officials, nearly half the state’s schools didn’t meet improvement targets this year.

Overall, Region 16 hit its target on the CMT and CAPT. For the subjects tested  — math, reading, writing, and science — the district only missed the target for math scores on the CMT, which fell short by 0.1.

Naugatuck schools missed the district’s targets overall on the standardized tests. Naugatuck’s CMT score was 73.1, which was just short of the 73.5 target. The CAPT score for Naugatuck was CAPT 67.8. The target was 74.4. The target was missed for all subjects on the CMT and CAPT with the exception of reading and writing on the CMT.

State Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor said the new accountability system is designed to recognize progress as well as highlight areas needing improvement.
“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,” Pryor said.

Region 16 Superintendent of Schools Tim James and Naugatuck Assistant Superintendent of Schools Christopher Montini could not be reached for comment as of this post

The full reports can be viewed here.

The Republican American contributed to this article.

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