10th-Graders Lead Peer Group But Still Lag In State
Hartford Courant Editorial
August 01, 2010
Hartford's schools are showing more progress in the system's climb to academic respectability with the most recent report on the 2010 Connecticut Academic Performance Test, which is administered to 10th graders.
This year, 58.6 percent of the city's 10th graders were at the proficient level on average in the four testing areas — reading, writing, mathematics and science — which is an 8.7 percent improvement over 2009, when results slipped slightly from the year before.
Of these students at proficiency, 18.7 percent reached the more difficult goal level, a 3.6 percent improvement over 2009.
When compared to other systems that the state considers similar to Hartford — Bridgeport, New Britain, New Haven, New London, Waterbury and Windham — the city led the way in reading and math and was third and fourth in writing and science respectively. This is a strong showing for schools that only a few years ago were last in the state.
The rate of Hartford's improvement reflects in part the significant distance it has to go to catch up to the state's top systems. Those at the top count a higher percentage of students at goal than Hartford has at proficient.
Nevertheless, Hartford's results show that changes implemented by Superintendent Steven J. Adamowski are taking hold. He reports that some of the best results come from students in the city's redesigned academies at Weaver, Bulkeley and Hartford Public high schools. They appear to have created a climate where more learning takes place and respect for achievement is rising.
Students are the immediate beneficiaries of the improved schools. Their opportunities to go on to further education after high school improve, and their hope for meaningful and rewarding work rises. A city that produces better qualified students will attract more attention from employers and will be seen as a more desirable place to live.
The gap between Hartford and its peer systems and the rest of the state is still substantial, but the ability of all students to perform when offered the opportunity and proper environment appears clear.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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