Darien 'Report Card' Shows High Scores, Some Gaps

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Darien Public Schools surpassed the state's targets in test scores for all subjects overall. Photo Credit: File

DARIEN, Conn. – Darien Public Schools once again posted high scores on the state’s annual “report cards,” but the state’s results show achievement gaps for students with disabilities across the town.

The Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) released its annual Performance Reports for all public schools in the state Thursday afternoon. The reports take into account scores on standardized tests and high school graduation rates to grade each school’s performance.

“These reports demonstrate that there are bright spots and best practices as well as areas in need of review and improvement in districts and schools across the state,” Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor said in a press release.

The reports give each school a Student Performance Index (SPI), which ranges from 1 to 100. The reports also track student groups based on race, economic standing and special needs, and identify potential achievement gaps for schools and districts to correct. Each school and district is then given one of six classifications:  Excelling, Progressing, Transitioning, Review, Focus, or Turnaround.

The state’s goal is for all schools to have an SPI of 88 or higher, but the annual reports assign each district a goal score that would mark an improvement over the previous year. The state’s report says that more than half the schools in the state reached their target scores for the 2012-13 school year.

Most Darien schools were classified as “Progressing,” which means that SPI scores are over the state’s goal of 88. Middlesex Middle School was classified as “Excelling” and named a school of distinction, in part because it did not post any achievement gaps.

All seven of Darien’s school reached their goal scores on either the Connecticut Mastery Tests (for grades 3 to 8) and the Connecticut Academic Performance Test (for high school students). Darien High also far surpassed the state’s goals for graduation rate.

However, all five elementary schools and Darien High all had students with disabilities post scores below their target in at least one subject. Districtwide, the group missed the target on all subjects except science on the CMT. High school students fell short in Writing and Science.

However, the difference between the target score and the actual was less than five points in each subject at the districtwide level, according to the state’s data.

You can search for your school’s performance report on the Connecticut Department of Education website.
 

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Virginia D. Cleaver, 77, Former Longtime Darien Resident