Monday, September 04, 2006

Where To Find Connecticut Mastery Test Results

I have been wondering where to find the results of the Connecticut Mastery Tests (the standardized tests that the public schooled students in grades 3-8 take in Connecticut) are published.

Little did I know that my friend K. was already on the case and doing her own investigation. K. found a website with all the details you could ever want about the test results.

The interesting thing is that you can do town to town comparisons.

Since I had some spare time today I did some comparisons of my own town’s results to the towns where some relatives of mine live. Note that everyone I know in every town proclaims their town has a wonderful school system (well except for complaints about the schools in the cities of New Haven, Bridgeport and Hartford).

If you want to take a look at the results, go here.

You will see that some towns are labeled not by town name but by Regional District. If you live in a town in a certain Regional District then I hope and assume that you already know your RD number.

I clicked on ‘select all’ to display all of the testing content areas.

Don’t forget to scroll to the right as the spreadsheet can be quite wide/long.

The results can be quite depressing, especially if you look long enough and find the trend in some towns is that in the elementary grades the kids are doing great then there is a sharp decline in the middle school years. Yikes. You can do a quick comparison, for example, by looking at grade 3 then grade 5 then grade 8 and seeing what the trend is.

My friend made a very good point that I had not thought about. Even if a school uses the same curriculum the teaching in the class is not exactly the same, as the group dynamic and the needs and abilities of the students in each class do sway the content of the teaching toward one way or another. Well that I know from hearing teachers talk about it. But what I had not thought of was to look at the result for the percentage of students in the ‘advanced’ category. For example if a class is very bright they may move along more quickly. If you look at the score result for the percent performing at an advanced level it is an indication of not only how many students are not just ‘getting it’ but are exceeding expectations, but you may assume, as my friend did, that what goes on in the classroom is superior or different than what goes on in the same grade classroom in a town or city where the percent is much lower. It is something to ponder. It is also interesting to think that in certain earlier grades there can be a higher percentage of students performing at an advanced level but to see the same numbers drop lower and lower the higher the grades get, doesn’t that indicate some problem, especially if other towns with similar demographics remain about the same over time?

Anyway at times like this I am yet again affirmed and happy to be homeschooling my children.

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