ConnCAN has released its school reportcards. The data shows overall student performance (Average percentage of students meeting state goals across all subjects), performance gains, improvement, low-income student performance, African-American student performance, and Hispanic student performance. Findings reflected the oft-discussed racial and class-based achievement gaps. The Milner School, located on Vine Street in Hartford, and listed as Core Knowledge at Milner on the Hartford Public Schools site, had 5.2% of students meeting state goals across all subjects. In the overall student performance category for elementary schools, Milner was ranked dead last. It’s reported that 97.8% of Milner students are identified as belonging to a minority, and over 95% of Milner students belong to the low income category. The highest ranking elementary school in this category is the Jane Ryan School, located in Trumbull, where only 11.4% of students are identified as belonging to a minority, and 2.6% are from low-income families. Findings show that 94.5% of students at Jane Ryan met state goals across the subjects. Clark Elementary (98.2% minority, over 95% low-income) fared only slightly better than Milner, with 7% of students meeting state goals; Burns School (AKA Latino Studies Academy at Burns) was listed as having 99.4% minority students, 95% from low-income families, and had 12.4% of students meeting state goals. SAND, Sanchez, and McDonough did not score much higher.
As disheartening as this is, some Hartford schools showed improvement. There are three Hartford elementary schools ranked in the top 25 for most improvement: Dwight, University of Hartford Magnet School, and the Parkville Community School. The Highville Charter School, located in Hamden, came in at #584 , last, with a -21.3% “improvement.” While most Hartford elementary schools showed improvement, some did not: Jumoke Academy, SAND Elementary, M.L. King, Rawson, and Batchelder.
Looking at the high school figures is where the report becomes confusing for me. The Capitol Prep Magnet School, which was recently ranked in the U.S. News & World Report, dragged itself in with -7.5% improvement and an ‘F’ grade, which brings me to my point. Judging schools based on test scores is only one way to measure performance. It gives some idea of what students know, but largely measures how well a student can take standardized tests. It does not show how engaging teachers are or what happens when students leave the classroom.
Reprinted with permission of Kerri Provost, author of the blog RealHartford.
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