By Kathy Megan, Hartford Courant
HARTFORD — Connecticut’s high school seniors scored the highest in reading among 13 states and also narrowed the state’s achievement gap between black and white students, according to a test known as “the nation’s report card.”
“It’s the first time in recent history … that we’ve seen a statistically significant gap closure” between black and white students, said state Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor. “We are enormously proud of that accomplishment.”
Pryor said that it was also the first time on a National Assessment of Educational Progress test, or NAEP, that Connecticut has ranked “No. 1 free and clear” in a subject area: On reading it outperformed the other 12 states, including Massachusetts, New Hampshire and New Jersey.
“Connecticut has not previously stood at the top as a solo number in its own category,” Pryor said, adding that the state’s 12th-graders’ reading score was, statistically speaking, significantly higher than those of all the other states.
“I won’t name any of those states, such as Massachusetts, that are in fact lagging Connecticut,” Pryor said, with a bit of glee.
Connecticut has consistently trailed Massachusetts, he said. “On every measure in memory, Massachusetts has outscored us.”
Connecticut’s 12th-graders also scored in the top tier of four states on the math test, and Connecticut and Arkansas were the only two states to improve both reading and math scores since 2009, when the test was last administered.