SBAC results show big improvement by students in just 1 year

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HARTFORD–Standardized test results are in, and they show big improvements in our students’ learning.

The Smarter Balance Assessment Consortium test is taken by students in third through eighth grade, and this year’s results show that 3.3 percent more students met or exceeded the achievement standard for English language arts, while 3.9 percent more students met or exceeded the standard in math. The baseline was the 2014-2015 school year, the first year the new tests focusing on critical thinking were administered.

In all, 55.7 percent of students met or exceeded standards for ELA, and 44 percent for math.

“With record-high graduation rates and now significantly improved scores on the Smarter Balanced test, our smart investments and commitment to our children are changing lives. Every time we raise the bar for our children and set high expectations, they reach it,” Gov. Dan Malloy said.

Of note, students in the Alliance District, the 30 lowest-performing districts in the state, showed big improvement: about half improved at a faster rate than other districts. In fact, some of the Alliance Districts saw improvement of 5 percentage points or more in just one year.

“I especially want to congratulate our Alliance Districts and Commissioner’s Network schools that demonstrated that hard work, innovation, and commitment to positive culture and rigorous academics can impact student outcomes,” Department of Education Commissioner Dianna Wentzell said. “It is incumbent on us to examine what is working in these schools and districts so that we can share successful strategies with our peers across the state.”

In ELA, six Alliance Districts improved by 5 percentage points or higher:

  • Bloomfield: 6.1 points
  • East Haven: 7.2 points
  • New Haven: 5.0 points
  • Norwich: 5.1 points
  • West Haven: 5.1 points
  • Windham: 8.7 points.

In math, 10 districts improved by 5 points or higher:

  • Ansonia: 5.5 points
  • Bloomfield: 5.9 points
  • East Haven: 6.4 points
  • Killingly: 5.4 points
  • Meriden: 7.1 points
  • Putnam: 10.3 points
  • Vernon: 5.1 points
  • West Haven: 10.3 points
  • Windham: 6.6 points
  • Windsor Locks: 7.9 points

The results were also broken up by race. Overall, 31.4 percent of black students and 33.2 percent of Hispanic students met or exceeded expectations in ELA, and 17.6 percent of black students and 21.2 percent of Hispanic students met or exceeded standards in math. That’s more than 3 percentage points better than results from the 2014-2015 year. As for white students, 68.6 percent of white students met or exceeded expectations for ELA and 56.9 percent did for math.

“In Connecticut, we remain fiercely committed to the work of supporting all districts — and especially our highest need districts — in their efforts to improve student outcomes and close achievement gaps,” Wentzell said.