Conn.’s reading scores shine on nationwide survey

BLOOMFIELD, Conn. (WTNH) — Connecticut has received an A on the nation’s report card in an important survey of testing among the state’s high school seniors.

Connecticut has the highest score in the country for reading. And at least part of that can be credited to the dramatic turnaround at Bloomfield High School.

Four years ago, just six percent were passing in advance placement tests at Bloomfield High. Last year, that number went up to 43 percent.

Other statistics here are also impressive. The pass rate for calculus just a few years ago was zero. Last year, it was 64 percent. The expectation for this year is 79 percent.

Ross Hanson has been teaching calculus here for three years.

“The students in this class, they’ve always wanted to do well,” he said. “They stay after school with me every single day, Monday through Friday, and they put in the time.”

The at-grade rate for students here has gone up from 74 percent to over 91 percent.

Sam Galloway has been principal here for four years and says it’s taken a lot of hard work.

“Teachers put in a lot of hard work studying student data information,” he said. “We meet, we set targets, we meet again to make sure we are meeting those targets, we conference with students and we let students know how they’ve done all along the way.”

Students took the tests in more than 100 Connecticut high schools across 84 school districts.

“The achievement gap, it’s being closed two years in a row, the fact that our students of color are making tremendous progress,” said Superintendent James Thompson.

For Gov. Dannel P. Malloy – who  has made education reform one of the hallmarks of his administration – the news couldn’t have come at a better time.

“We had the largest closure of our achievement gap between black and white students in a couple of categories and I feel really good about it,” Malloy said.

Unfortunately, the gaps between the state’s lowest performing districts and the rest of the state still remain high. There are still many states with smaller achievement gaps.

But this highest score in the country in reading is telling Connecticut educators they are on the right path.

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