Waterford Student Achievements Solid In CMT and CAPT
Waterford students improved their performance overall, achieving some of the highest results to date on the state's standardized tests. Achievement gaps for students receiving reduced price or free lunches, however, are an area of concern.
Waterford students continue to show a solid level of achievement across the board. Students in 10th grade had the highest attainment of achievement in the history of Waterford High School in reading and math. And Waterford students in all grades had the highest level of achievement in reading on the Connecticut Mastery Tests this year.
This is the seventh year students in 10th grade have taken CAPT tests in science, math, reading, and writing and Waterford High School has continued to make significant gains in reading. Writing results dipped from last year but it was still the second highest performance of the past seven years. Overall, the percentage of students performing at the highest level has increased.
Students in all grades taking the CMT tests had the highest level of achievement in reading, writing continues to be strong, and students in 8th grade made significant increases in science. Elementary students are showing nice improvements in math, with a slight dip in the upper middle school grades, which the district attributes to the realignment of the math curriculum this past year.
Areas of Concern
Students with disabilities, who represent a CMT subgroup, outperformed other students on a regional and state level and those in 8th grade showed improvements in their performance from when they were first tested in 3rd grade. Students in 3th and 5th grade, however, again performed below state and regional average levels in reading. The Director of Special Services and the Elementary School Principals continue to review the individual student performance to see if their Individualized Education Plans are sufficient.
One area of concern was the performance of students taking the CMT tests who were receiving free or reduced price meals. Compared to results for the student body as a whole, the tests showed achievement gaps of 25 percent of more in 8th grade reading and math, 6th grade reading, writing, and math, 5th grade reading and writing, and 3rd grade writing for this subgroup.
In 2013, 8th graders who fall within this subgroup decreased their writing ability by 13.6 percent since they were in 3rd grade; in math their performance dropped by 15.5 percent since they were in 3rd grade. The largest gap in academic performance in reading occurs in 5th grade, with a 38.1 percent difference.
These results require further analysis on an individual level to determine what factors may be contributing to the drop in performance for these students.