FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Most of Fairfield’s Public Schools boosted their rankings within the state, even if their grades stayed the same, according to the Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now, a nonprofit advocacy group. But Fairfield improved a dubious rating from last year, bringing down one of the worst achievement gaps in Connecticut.
In the report cards released this week by ConnCAN, Fairfield’s Public Schools received the same overall grades as in 2010. Middle school students fared the best in the rankings, with combined scores from Fairfield Woods, Tomlinson and Roger Ludlowe earning an A-. The town’s 11 elementary schools earned a B+ on average, while Fairfield Ludlowe and Fairfield Warde high schools combined for a B-.
Fairfield’s high schools ranked 24th out of the state’s 134 districts in overall student scores, up five spots from 2009-10. Its elementary schools also moved up in the rankings to 35th out of 163, a total of 19 spots higher than last year. Middle schools had the best overall scores in town with 85 percent of students reaching state goals but dropped eight spots in the rankings from 2010 to 38th out of 173.
ConnCAN uses standardized test scores to assign its annual grades, based on the percentage of students that meet state goals in math, reading, writing and science. It also judges schools and districts based on how they’re closing their achievement gaps, or how low-income and minority students compare with their peers.
Fairfield made big strides in closing its achievement gap, according to the rankings. In 2010, Fairfield’s difference between low-income and minority students and their peers was the highest in the state at the high school level and fifth among elementary school districts. This year Fairfield’s achievement gap is outside the top 25 for all age groups.
The improvement at the high school level might have been because of strong performances by low-income and Hispanic students. Ludlowe ranked eighth in the state and Warde ranked ninth for low-income student scores, both with about 47 percent of students in that category meeting goals. Hispanic students from Ludlowe ranked third in the state (60.2 percent at goal), while Warde’s Hispanic students ranked fifth in Connecticut (54.8 percent).
The district’s top-rated school overall was Burr Elementary School, which received Fairfield’s only A and ranked 21st out of 571 elementary schools across the state. Sherman, Dwight, Mill Hill, Tomlinson and Fairfield Woods also did well, each receiving an A-. McKinley, Holland Hill and Fairfield Warde earned the lowest grades, according to ConnCAN, each scoring a B-.
Full results and rankings are available at ConnCAN’s website.