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Fairfield Students Outscore State Averages On First Common Core Tests

The state Department of Education released the results of the first-ever tests linked to Common Core.
The state Department of Education released the results of the first-ever tests linked to Common Core. Photo Credit: File

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. — The first results are in from the new standardized Smarter Balanced Assessment taken in the spring by students across Connecticut, and the numbers vary widely from town to town.

Fewer than 40 percent of students statewide earned a passing grade in math, which was below the state's expectations, while 55.4 percent made the grade in English language arts on the controversial new tests, meeting the state's expectations, according to the numbers released Friday by the state Department of Education.

Also, the achievement gap remains between white and minority students, low-income students, English learners, and students with disabilities

Town by town, here are the percentage of students who posted “passing scores” on the test:

• Bridgeport: 23.8% in language arts, 9.1% in math, falling below state averages in both categories;

• Danbury: 47.7% in language arts, 29.8% in math, topping the state average in language arts only;

• Darien: 85.3% in language arts, 75.9% in math, topping the state average in both categories;

• Easton: 75.6% in language arts; 63.1% in math, topping the state average in both categories;

• Fairfield; 74.4 percent in language arts, 59.8 percent in math, topping the state average in both categories;

• Greenwich: 77.8% in language arts; 64.0% in math, , topping the state average in both categories;

• New Canaan: 82.2 % in language arts; 74.1% in math, topping the state average in both categories;

• Norwalk: 47.7% in language arts; 29.2% in math, topping the state average in language arts only;

• Redding: 77.0% in language arts; 67.6% in math, topping the state average in both categories;

• Ridgefield: 82.0% in language arts; 66.2% in math, topping the state average in both categories;

• Stamford: 49.4% in language arts; 37.5% in math, topping the state average in language arts only;

• Weston: 78.4% in language arts; 70.0% in math, topping the state average in both categories;

• Westport: 85.1% in language arts; 72.8% in math, topping the state average in both categories;

• Wilton: 73.6% in language arts; 57.3% in math, topping the state average in both categories.

“Math is clearly an area we have significant room for improvement in Connecticut. Another area in need of continued focus and effort is in regard to our chronic achievement gaps,” said Education Commissioner Dianna R. Wentzell.

The state transitioned to new exams, which are linked to the Common Core curriculum standards, last school year. They have significantly tougher questions intended to test real-world skills, a press release said. The scores were expected to look “dramatically lower” than previous years, the state said.

“These results reveal that our students have learned many of the things they need to know and be able to do. And we see that they haven’t learned some things, yet. As leaders, teachers and parents examine our baseline results, it is very important to remember that not having learned something yet is feedback for future growth,” said Wentzell.

“These results do not mean that our students are learning less, rather it reflects that we raised the bar. We are confident that our students will continue to build upon the new baseline they set this year and will rise to meet the challenge of the more rigorous material, as they always do.”

In 2015, the Smarter Balanced tests replaced the old state tests, the Connecticut Mastery Test for grades 3 to 8 and the Connecticut Academic Performance Test for 11th-graders.

Data for each town and school can be downloaded from this state website .

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