Today the Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now (ConnCAN) commented on the latest data from the U.S. Department of Education that shows Connecticut high schools having the largest achievement gap in the nation.
For the first time, the U.S Department of Education released the state-specific math and reading results of twelfth graders on its “National Assessment of Educational Progress” (NAEP) last week. Connecticut was one of 11 states to voluntarily participate in this pilot project.
ConnCAN’s analysis of the previously released NAEP results for 4th and 8th grade showed that Connecticut has the largest achievement gap in elementary and middle school. Analysis of this new NAEP data shows that Connecticut’s high school achievement gap is also the largest in the nation. In reading and math, the high school performance gap between Connecticut’s low-income and minority students and their white, middle-class peers is larger than that of all other participating states. Connecticut’s minority and low-income twelfth grade students score up to three and a half grade levels behind their white and middle-class peers in both reading and math.
- The average gap between poor and non-poor twelfth grade students is 2.8 grade levels in reading and 3.1 grade levels in math.
- African-American twelfth grade students scored 3.6 grade levels behind their white peers in reading and 3.3 grade levels behind in math.
- Hispanic twelfth grade students scored 2.7 grade levels behind their white peers in reading and 3.2 grade levels behind their white peers in math.
“It is once again disappointing to see how far Connecticut has to go to make good on its promise to provide an adequate public education to all students,” said Alex Johnston, ConnCAN’s CEO. “This information is even more dismaying when you consider that these massive gaps only reflect the performance of students that make it to the twelfth grade; too many of our low-income and minority students do not even make it this far.”
In 2009, only 66% of African-American students, 58% of Hispanic students, and 60% of low-income students graduated from high school in Connecticut. Of all students who graduate and choose to attend college at Connecticut State universities or community colleges, 65-72% require remedial or developmental math or English.