September 2, 2005
By ROBERT A. FRAHM, Courant Staff Writer
The state's technical high school system, led by a reform-minded superintendent
who came under fire for her efforts to bolster reading and mathematics, made
dramatic gains on statewide achievement test results announced Thursday.
The 17 regional technical schools
posted their highest overall results ever on the Connecticut Academic
Performance Test, an annual exam of reading, mathematics, writing
and science given to the state's 10th-graders.
was elated. This really shows the hard work our teachers and students
did. ... It shows it can be done," said Superintendent
Abigail L. Hughes, who has been the target of a teachers' union campaign
to oust her.
The improvement continues a trend that began before Hughes arrived
as superintendent a year ago and shook up the system with a series
of aggressive reforms.
Hughes drew sharp criticism from union leaders and an overwhelming
no-confidence vote from teachers last spring after imposing curriculum,
training and scheduling changes designed to raise low scores, reduce
high suspension rates and improve the system's image.
Whether the latest results will temper that criticism remains
to be seen, but educators in the 11,000-student system were pleased
with Thursday's report.
"It's a nice beginning" to
the school year, said Greg Forte, a math teacher at Wilcox Technical
High School in Meriden, where 75 percent of the sophomores scored
at a proficient level in mathematics, an increase of 11 percentage
points since last year. In science, 89 percent met the proficiency
standard, a 20 percent-
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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