(WTNH) – Six out of 10 Connecticut students are ready for college-level work in English Language Arts, but fewer are ready in math.
On Wednesday, the state’s Department of Education released the results from the first Connecticut SAT School Day, a new test that more closely aligns with the skills and knowledge students need to be both college and career-ready.
“While we are encouraged that more students than ever before are reaching for college-readiness standards, overall, these SAT results are sobering,” said Jennifer Alexander, chief executive officer of New Haven-based Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now (ConnCAN), the state’s largest education advocacy organization.
According to ConnCAN, the scores show:
- 6 out of 10 (60%) Connecticut students are ready for college-level work in English language arts (ELA) and only 4 out of 10 (40%) are ready for college level work in mathematics
- Only about 3 out of 10 (36.4%) African-American students and about 4 out of 10 (39%) Hispanic students met or exceeded achievement standards in ELA, compared with about 7 out of 10 (77.4%) white students.
- In math, about 1 out of 8 (12.5%) African-American students and less than 2 out of 10 (15.5%) Hispanic students met or exceeded standards, compared to about half (49.9 %) of all white students.
- Math scores show that many students are not ready for college level math. Only about 4 out of 10 girls (37.9%) met the college-ready standard in math (scored at or above Level 3 in math)
“For years Connecticut has struggled with one of the largest achievement or opportunity gaps in the country, and these SAT results confirm that we have a long way to go to close these gaps. Doing so is both a moral and economic imperative,” Alexander said.
Students took the test in March, nearly a year after Gov. Dannel Malloy announced that the state would replace the 11th-grade Smarter Balanced Assessment — or SBAC exam — with the SAT.
“These new SAT results should be a wake-up call for all of us: collectively, only about half of our 11th graders are college-ready in math and English Language Arts, with far worse results for students of color and high-needs students.” Alexander said.
Gabriel Perez is entering his senior year at High School in the Community this fall. An honor student who completed Algebra II in half a year, Gabriel was disappointed in his math scores on the SAT.
“I was really surprised. It was really beyond horrific in my opinion cause this is like, I thought I did pretty well,” said PErez.
Gabriel didn’t meet the standards of achievement in math. New Haven as a whole had scores significantly lower than the state averages.
“We are certainly not gonna work in silos regarding this. This has to, this is a community approach,” said Gil Traverso, Director of Instruction for New Haven Public Schools.
Traverso says the district is looking at ways to better prepare students for the test.
“We’re certainly looking at a backwards by design model to develop processes, communication, accountability measures to show that students are progressing along a continuum of improvement,” said Traverso.
In New Have 39 percent of students were proficient in reading and writing. Only 13 percent of students met or exceeded math expectations.
As for Gabriel, he says he will take the test again but hopes colleges look at the bigger picture.
“Basically two scores, or one overall score determines your whole future. and I don’t, I feel as if that doesn’t represent me or any one student or child in particular,” said Perez.