[Editor's Note: While the following provides statewide results, follow up articles breaking down Weston, Redding and Easton's results will be published soon. Use the table above to search for town-specific CMT results based on year and grade level.]
Connecticut's State Department of Education released on Tuesday the results of the 2013 Connecticut Academic Performance Test (CAPT), which showed a slight improvement in mathematics, science and reading scores statewide, but a slight decrease in writing scores, and the Connecticut Mastery Test (CMT), which showed decreases in all grades and content areas when compared to last year, according to a statement by Commissioner Stefan Pryor.
Connecticut students that took the CAPT showed improvements in most content areas when compared to 2012 and in all content areas when compared to the baseline year of 2007. Statewide scores show that gains at either the Proficient or Goal level (or both) were posted on the CAPT in every tested content area, according to statement. Slight decreases were evident in math Proficiency and writing Goal. However, the percentage of students scoring at/above Goal in math increased significantly, improving by 3.3 percent. The percentage of students Proficient in writing also showed a slight improvement.
A majority of districts in the state posted scores in the percentage of students at/above Proficiency or Goal that were equal to or improved upon last year’s figures in a majority of content areas. Magnet and charter high schools performed particularly well, according to the Department of Education. Magnet high schools showed increases in the percentage of students at/above Proficient or Goal in all opportunities. The largest increase was seen in mathematics, where this year's scores showed a rise in the percentage of students statewide at/above Goal (52.6 percent) compared to last year (49.3 percent).
Student performance data on the CMTs show decreases in all grades and content areas when compared to last year. In most cases, however, CMT results this year showed a marked improvement over the CMT baseline year of 2006, according to the statement.
According to the release, the state’s adoption of the Common Core standards had a significant effect on CMT results, particularly among younger students.
“Results on legacy tests, such as the CMT, at the earlier grade may show a more significant drop because younger students have had less experience with traditional instruction and with the CMT given schools’ more pronounced shifts to the Common Core in earlier grades,” the statement read. “The grade 3 CMT tested students on topics they may not have encountered in class over the course of the year if their school was implementing the Common Core Standards with fidelity."
The largest overall decrease in scores is in the percentage of students scoring at/above Goal in grade 3 math. This content area and performance level dropped from 66.8 percent to 61.6 percent, a dip of 5.2 percent. In contrast, the percentage of students scoring at/above Goal in math in grades 7 and 8 dropped by only 0.5 percent.
Results and the Achievement Gap
This year’s test scores also revealed mixed results as far as the state’s achievement gaps among free and reduced price eligible students, Hispanic/Latino students, and African American students.
On the CAPT, the achievement gap between Hispanic/Latino students and white students widened in five out of eight opportunities to increase or diminish the gap. On positive note, however, the achievement gap between free and reduced price meal students and full price meal students, ELL and non-ELL students, and between Hispanic/Latino and African American students and white students diminished.
Free and reduced price meal students also diminished the gap slightly between their full meal counterparts in the percentage of students scoring at/above proficient in writing slightly. The gap in the percentage of African-American students at/above Proficient in writing and their white peers also diminished slightly.
On the CMTs, both the Hispanic/Latino/white achievement gap and the African-American/white achievement gap diminished or remained constant in 28 out of 40 opportunities. When the scores of the free and reduced price meals subgroup and the full price meals subgroup are compared, the data reveals that free and reduced price meals students narrowed the gap in 17 out of 40 opportunities.
Complete state-, district- and school-level CMT and CAPT results are now available on the Online Reports website (www.ctreports.com), as well as in the table above (for CMTs only). Parents will receive notification of individual student performance results for their children in September.