Cross post from HatCityBLOG
UPDATE 1:30PM: A friend writes that ConnCAN’s ranking of Danbury HIgh School is lower than first thought:
The rank number is messed up, too. When there’s a tie, they don’t skip a number. So the rank might go 50, 51, 52, 52 (tie), then they go to 53, 54, etc. Should skip the 53. So Danbury shows a 125th rank, but is actually 145th on the list. Just data nitpicking.
Yesterday, the The Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now (ConnCAN) released their 2010 School Rankings and when it comes to High School performance, the City of Danbury is an embarrassment.
When ConnCAN breaks down DHS’ performance into categories, the news is even harder to swallow.
Here’s how ConnCAN came up with their results:
Each year, Connecticut administers two standardized tests, the Connecticut Mastery Test (CMT) and the Connecticut Academic Performance Test (CAPT). These tests are designed to measure how well students are achieving on grade-level academic subjects. Both tests are designed and administered by the State Department of Education.
The CONNECTICUT MASTERY TEST (CMT) is administered each spring to all public school students in grades three through eight. The CMT measures how student achievement in the areas of mathematics, reading, and writing compared to the expectations for their grade level. In fifth and eighth grades, science is also tested.
The CONNECTICUT ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE TEST (CAPT) is administered each spring to all public school students in tenth grade. The CAPT measures student achievement in the areas of mathematics, reading, writing, and science compared to the expectations for high school students.
The skills tested on the CMT and CAPT are identified in the Connecticut curriculum framework, and each student’s achievement is compared to a set of established standards for his or her grade in each subject area. There is no “passing” grade on the CMT or the CAPT. Instead, the State of Department of Education sets a “goal” level score for each subject area in every grade tested. The State Department of Education gives each student a raw score (ranging from 100-400 points) and assigns score cut points for each of five levels: Advanced, At Goal, Proficient, Basic, or Below Basic. The State Department of Education reports scores for schools and districts as the percentage of students scoring at one of these levels. According to the State Department of Education, a student scoring at the “Goal” level has the knowledge, skills, and critical thinking abilities that are “reasonable to expect of students” within their grade level.
ConnCAN uses the Goal standard to set the bar for rating schools since it is the state’s best estimate of students meeting or exceeding grade-level expectations. The State Department of Education reports on the percentage of students “At Goal” in the subjects tested (math, reading, writing and science) for schools in which at least 20 students in any given grade completed the CMT or CAPT.
Given that the education spending takes up the majority of the city’s budget, parents should expect more bang for their buck. Based on these results, if I had a child attending DHS, I’d be rather upset.
Makes you wonder about that so-called English teacher at DHS who arrogantly spends her class time NOT teaching English huh?
For detailed information on ConnCAN’s report, click here. I’ll break down ConnCAN’s report on Danbury’s elementary and secondary schools later.