Update at 11:45 a.m.
What follows is Montville schools Superintendent Pamela Aubin's verbatim statement about CMT and CAPT scores released Thursday by the state Department of Education. Following a request for comment, Aubin emailed the statement to Montville Patch.
"In Montville this past year, teachers across all grade levels placed a great emphasis on reading instruction. As a result of this focus, we noticed improvements in CMT reading scores when comparing students of the same cohort in grades 4, 5, 6, and 7 with only a slight drop in grade 8. Same cohort data is not available for grade 10, but when compared to 2011 grade 10 students, we also see improvement in CAPT reading.
"Another area which received district-wide attention was the implementation of research-based intervention programs and flexible grouping of students in order to provide differentiated instruction in reading and math for a block of time each day. We are very pleased by the resulting increase in the percent of students in the free and reduced lunch and special education subgroups at almost every grade level who reached goal on CMT and CAPT reading and mathematics tests. Many grade levels saw double digit increases in the percent of students reaching goal in these subgroups.
"Our progress in writing and math is less consistent across the district. These are areas in which the state Connecticut Mastery Test (CMT) / Connecticut Academic Performance Test (CAPT) goals differ markedly from the new Common Core State Standards and upcoming Smarter Balanced Assessment. As a district, we have begun to shift our focus to the new standards in order to prepare our students for success on the upcoming standardized assessments in 2014-2015 and therefore do not plan to implement targeted changes to instruction based upon CMT / CAPT test specifications."
The results are mixed.
The scores on the Connecticut Mastery Tests and the Connecticut Academic Performance Test were released today, and as far as raw test scores go, Montville did not fare well against state average scores in any grades or disciplines save for 7th grade writing and 3rd grade mathematics and writing. Otherwise, Montville students scored below the state averages across the board. That said, there was lots of good news in terms of gains, over previous years but in some areas and in some grades, there were losses.
Both the CMT and the CAPT have five student performance levels for each content area tested: Below Basic, Basic, Proficient, Goal, and Advanced. The CMT assesses approximately 250,000 students on their application of skills and knowledge in the academic content areas of mathematics, reading, and writing in Grades 3 through 8, and science in Grades 5 and 8. This year marks the seventh administration of the CMT.
The March 2006 administration of the CMT serves as a baseline year for examining changes in student performance because it was the first year that the Fourth Generation CMT was administered. The CMT also has vertical scales in mathematics and reading that enable valid measures of cohort growth in tested students’ performance from 2006 to 2012.
The good and the not so good news
By way of example, in 2011, less than 32 percent of the tested students made goal in mathematics, but this year, more than 37 percent achieved goal.
Conversely, more than 43 percent of 5th grade students made goal in math in 2011, but in 2012, less than 39 percent achieved goal. And, in 2011, a combined 12-plus percent were either ‘basic’ or below basic in terms of skills and knowledge of math and this year, that number increased to nearly 20 percent, meaning more kids this year than last have poor math skills. That said, they still are doing a little better than the statewide average.
Eighth graders scored well below their contemporaries statewide in math, reading and writing, And in math in particular, in 2012, more than 15 percent of the 202 students tested fell in the basic and below basic category when last year, that group represented less than 13 percent.
Some really good news came from 7th grade students that scored well above their peers throughout the state in writing with an average 245 score compared to the state grade of 249.
In the CAPT, Montville 10th grade students did not cut it against the state average in math and reading, but knocked their peers socks off in science.
The reports and data and what it all means
The reports are detailed and comprehensive providing educators and the community the opportunity to check student performance results on the Generation 4 Connecticut Mastery Test (CMT) at the school, district and state levels.
Across the state, student performance is generally better than it was in 2011, according to the Connecticut State Department of Education press release. The CMT assesses approximately 250,000 students on their application of skills and knowledge in the academic content areas of mathematics, reading and writing in Grades 3 through 8, and science in Grades 5 and 8.
For the full report including pdf files, graphs and charts with summaries and comprehensive explanations, click here.
Montville Patch will be sitting down with school Superintendent Pamela Aubin in the coming days to get her take on the scores and what they mean for Montville students, educators and families.
Parents will receive notification of individual student performance results for their children in September.