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Montville Students Make Gains, Hold Their Own in State Testing

Reading, science, advanced placement and some kids living in poverty all make gains; math, not so much.

 

“We’re holding our own,” was a popular refrain offered Tuesday night at the Montville Public Schools Board of Education meeting as school district  administrators gave a summary of how Montville students performed in the CAPT and CMT standardized testing.

Reading, the area the district decided would be its primary focus, something Schools Superintendent Pamela Aubin calls “our big bet,” revealed “great results.”

“This is what we want to see,” said schools assistant superintendent Brian Levesque as he pointed out huge gains in grade six reading on the CMT and “positive growth” in grade four. He said the district is “really making progress” and moved 23 students from the lowest levels up to proficient levels.

In writing, the district is “holding our own,” he said. “We’d like to make some more progress here.”

Mathematics was a different story. Administrators explained that “our focus has been on literacy” and that math, as a result, is not an area where Montville kids are progressing as quickly and consistently as educators would like to see.

Indeed, BOE member Deborah S. Reed-Iler said she was “concerned” that focusing on reading and literacy has left the door open for losses in math.

“(It) concerns me that we focused so much on reading,” she said, We were afraid this would happen and it happened.”

But Aubin pointed out that without literacy and strong reading skills “there’s nothing else.”

“If we try to focus on everything, nothing gets done,” Aubin said.

Levesque said that a new, free math program for first and second grade students is being piloted. 

Several areas showed marked improvements; science, advanced placement and gains in reading for students that receive free or reduced lunch and with the latter, those students in 7th grade actually performed better than their counterparts that do not receive free lunch.

farm guy September 25, 2012 at 11:47 AM
Why can't we focus on both? Let the L.A., social studies, and art teachers focus on reading/writing. Have the math, science, music and P.E. teachers focus on math. This district lacks leadership at the top. Pam Aubin is old school and needs to go. We need people invested in education to run our school system. We hired a superintendent from Norwich public schools (not exactly at the forefront of education), who then removed a young, energetic principal from the high school and replaced him with a guy who just retired in another state and is working here so he can double dip. That's right, this guy is collecting a pension from his state in excess of $100,000 and is getting $140,000 or so from us. I am sure our BOE members are trying their best, however, I think we need some educators on the BOE who really know what is going on. I believe you can't teach in town and be on the board, but there has got to be some teachers who live in town and work elsewhere. Please help us out.

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