No it can get worse – High School Juniors in North Haven, Westbrook Took Wrong Smarter Balanced Test

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So just when we thought the Common Core SBAC testing farce couldn’t get worse, the Hartford Courant is reporting that that the reason that the North Haven and Westbrook test results were so out of line with the rest of the state is that high school students in those two towns “took the wrong test.”

In a stunning article in today’s Hartford Couarnt, education reproter Kathy Megan reports that;

No Smarter Balanced test scores for juniors in N.Haven, Westbrook: They took wrong test

High school juniors in North Haven and Westbrook won’t be getting Smarter Balanced test scores.

It turns out, they took the wrong test.

School officials in both districts said the confusion resulted from a drop-down menu that listed several possible tests. Students were apparently told to click on an “interim” or practice test, instead of the comprehensive year’s-end test and the mistake wasn’t caught until after the test was completed.

“It was very disappointing,” said Westbrook Principal Tara Winch. “I asked the state, why would the interim assessment even be up there during the actual testing time? Those shouldn’t even have been part of the testing window.”

Kelly Donnelly, chief of staff for the state Department of Education, said it’s “regrettable” that “test proctors administered the wrong version of the test in these two schools. These two isolated instances were unfortunate, and we will of course be working with the vendors to limit the chance of this happening again.”

While Governor Malloy’s administration says they will be “working with the vendor to limit the chances of this happening again,” other SBAC consortium states are not taking the problems with the testing scheme so lightly.

Truth in American Education, a blog the covers the Common Core and the Common Core testing system recently published an article entitled,  Nevada to Receive $1.3 Million Settlement from Measured Progress which reported,

Measured Progress is giving Nevada almost $1.3 million back for their botched implementation of the Smarter Balanced Assessment last Spring.

Nevada Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt’s office put out the following press release on Monday:

Nevada Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt announced that his office, representing the Nevada Department of Education (NDE), reached a prelitigation settlement with Measured Progress, Inc. The settlement is a result of the company’s failure to provide an efficient testing system intended to deliver Nevada’s Criterion Referenced Tests (CRTs) to students in grades three through eight. In March 2015, electronic testing materials developed by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium and delivered by Measured Progress failed, preventing students across Nevada from completing their federally mandated standardized tests. After extensive pre-litigation negotiations, the company agreed to refund the NDE a total of $1.299 million in cash and services, to cover some of the costs of the testing program, and to assist with future educational programs.

But in Connecticut, the State Department of Education is glossing over problems.  The Hartford Courant explaining,

[SDE Chief of Staff Kelly Donnelly] said that administering the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium test to about 270,000 students “takes a great deal of coordination and preparation by our schools and we commend them for what was overall a successful administration on the first operational year.”

A similar problem occurred earlier this year in New Hampshire. According to a March article in the New Hampshire Union Leader newspaper, students in Manchester, Gorham and Barrington also mistakenly took an interim version of the test.

Donnelly said that both states have the same vendor — American Institutes for Reseach — for the test.

The Hartford Courant story goes on to add,

[Westbrook High School Principal] Winch said the error was particularly frustrating because state records now say that Westbrook High School’s participation rate was a zero, when, she said, the school had 99.9 percent of the students take the test, albeit the wrong test.

“We are so proud of our students and the teachers who really took this seriously in a year when there were many opting out,” Winch said, referring to other districts where substantial numbers of high school juniors refused to take the test.

“We didn’t have any of that,” Winch said of the opting out. “The students came in very positive and really wanting to do well. I was absolutely devastated because they kept saying zero participation when the students absolutely did not opt out.”

She said there wasn’t time to retake the test when the error was discovered because, “We were right up against finals.”

Winch said the drop down menus should be clarified in the future, “so you only have the correct options for the test,” she said.

The Hartford Courant story concludes with a quote from a spokeswoman for the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium who states,

Kelli Gauthier, a spokeswoman for Smarter Balanced, said in an email: “This is really a district-level issue. Having said that, we will, of course continue to work with our member states, who in turn work with their districts, to ensure test delivery runs smoothly.”

You can find the complete Hartford Courant story at:  http://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-smarter-balanced-glitch-0902-20150901-story.html

For those interested in how Nevada responded to their SBAC problems go to: Nevada to Receive $1.3 Million Settlement from Measured Progress

Bronin Update:  Different West Hartford Private School – Same issue

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A blog post on Wait, What? yesterday reported that Hartford mayoral candidate Luke Bronin was sending a child to a private school in West Hartford, Connecticut rather than to the public schools in Hartford. (See: 1,000 children head off to the 1st day of public school in Hartford, but not Luke Bronin’s.)

The name of that private school was incorrectly identified as the Renbrook School.  Apologies to Mr. Bronin and the Renbrook School.

Following the release of a statement by the Bronin campaign, it is now clear that not one, but two of his children have now been enrolled in private school in West Hartford, but they are actually attending the Montessori School of Greater Hartford, where the tuition is also in the range of $15,000 to $20,000 per child.

The underlying issue is not whether it is appropriate or not for the Bronin’s to send their children to private school but how that issue impacts the discussion of who should  serve as Hartford’s chief elected official.

If Luke Bronin is elected mayor once of his responsibilities will be to serve on the Board of Education and appoint a majority of the members of the Hartford Board of Education.

As noted in yesterday’s Wait, What? post;

If Luke Bronin wants to send his child or children to an elite private school and can afford to pay $20,000 a year, per child, to ensure they have a private school education, that is certainly his right as a parent.

But parents, teachers and the public in Hartford and across that state shouldn’t be fooled.  When the person who wants to be mayor, and who would appoint the members of the Hartford Board of Education, decides to enroll his child or children in a prestigious private school, rather than the city’s public schools, it sends out a powerful message about privilege and entitlement.

The political controversy surrounding a politician’s decision to send their children to private school, while claiming to support public education, is hardly new or unique.  This very topic developed into a major issue in the last two elections for Mayor of Chicago.  The issue generated multiple articles, commentary pieces and editorials in the Chicago Tribune and in other media outlets. The debate even made national news.

As a Chicago Tribune story explained;

Mayor Rahm Emanuel will bypass Chicago Public Schools, like many high-profile politicians before him, and send his children to the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools in Hyde Park this fall.

[…]

Emanuel, who was in New York for an Obama fundraiser when the news broke, has maintained that where the couple send their children to school is a personal, not a political, decision. But the choice led inevitably to criticism that city leaders who send their children to private schools have no personal stake in Chicago’s public schools.

“I’m not in a position to question his choice. Every parent has the right to do that,” said Julie Woestehoff, executive director of Parents United for Responsible Education. “But I do think he has to recognize that his choice has sent a message to Chicago public school parents.

“It sends a message that he has not found a Chicago public school that he is confident enough to send his kids to.”

[…]

During the mayoral campaign, Emanuel faced the question of whether Chicago public schools were good enough for his kids. He declined then to say where his children would go.

[…]

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis, who has objected to Emanuel’s plans to withhold teacher pay raises and change work rules, issued a less-than-subtle statement about the mayor’s decision.

“We understand why he would choose a school with small class sizes; a broad, rich curriculum that offers world languages, the arts and physical education; a focus on critical thinking, not test-taking; a teacher and an assistant in every elementary classroom; and paid, high-quality professional development for their teacher,” Lewis said. “It’s wonderful that he has that option available to him.”

The sentiments articulated by Karen Lewis was the very issue addressed in yesterday’s Wait,What? post;

“…while Hartford’s public school students, parents, teachers and school administrators are crippled by the Common Core, the Common Core SBAC testing scam and Connecticut’s unfair teacher evaluation system, Luke Bronin’s child is attending a school that DOESN’T adhere to the Common Core SYSTEM, doesn’t force children to take the unfair Common Core SBAC testing program and treats their school teachers like the education professionals that they are.”

In response to these issues, the Bronin campaign issues a statement from Luke Bronin that read:

We believe in Montessori education, and we entered the Hartford Public School lottery for two years, trying to get our kids into a Hartford public Montessori school. Our son, who was 3 years old at the time, got into Annie Fisher. Our daughter, who was 5, did not. But we were told that she would certainly get in the next year with the sibling preference, so for a year we spent almost two hours a day driving our kids to two different schools (no transportation provided for kids under 5), with two different pickup times, looking forward to having them both at Annie Fisher. The next year, we put our daughter in the lottery again… and lost again.

We were disappointed that our daughter couldn’t go to the school that we had hoped for for all our kids. To us, it’s important to try to have all our kids in the same school — because we want to be part of the life of the school, because we want our kids to share the experience of going to school together, and because with two working parents, multiple drop-offs and pickups when bus transportation is not provided are not easy. So today, they’re at the Montessori School of Greater Hartford.

Common Core SBAC testing – Big Cost, No Value

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Over the past two years Connecticut taxpayers have dropped $32 million on the Common Core SBAC tests and another $12.4 million for implementation of the Common Core.  The Connecticut state budget allocates another $43.1 million for the Common Core and Common Core SBAC tests for this year and next.

Add in the tens of million spent by local school districts on computers and internet expansion so that students can take the on-line tests, along with the substitute teachers who were brought in so that full-time teachers could be pulled out to “learn about the Common Core,” and well over $150 – $200 million dollars (or more) in public funds have been diverted from instruction to the Common Core and Common Core testing disaster.

So what has all that money gotten the students, parents, teachers and taxpayers of Connecticut?

Public education advocate, commentator and educator Ann Policelli Cronin addresses the issue in her latest blog post entitled, SBAC: The Beginning Of The End

So what did we learn from the release of the SBAC scores?  …

Not much.

We did learn that the achievement gap has not been in any way affected by implementation of the Common Core. I have been in a position to analyze CMT and CAPT scores over many years, and the SBAC scores tell the same story as the CMT and CAPT scores. That story is that students in affluent communities score significantly higher than students in poor communities do. No administration of a test will ever change that fact. No set of national standards or standardized test on those standards will ever “close the achievement gap”. First of all, high scores depend on the quality of the lives children have outside of school much more than what happens in school. Secondly, if the national standards and aligned testing did raise scores, then all scores would go up, both those of the students in affluent districts and those in poor cities. So the “gap” would be unchanged.

We did learn that charter schools, even with their cherry-picked student bodies, did not do better than many public school districts which do not restrict their student populations of special education students, English language learners, or students with behavioral issues. For example, SBAC 8th grade math scores for charter schools ranked 63, 67, 71, 74, 100, 103, 107, 119, 123,130, and 133 out of 133 reporting districts and schools. Of course, many of those charter schools had better scores than the districts from which their students came and should be expected to have better scores than the students’ originating public school districts because the charter schools have siphoned off some students with drive and potential from those districts.

We did learn that the SBAC scores tell us nothing about the learning going on in Connecticut schools. We can’t tell what schools just paid lip service to Common Core Standards and what ones focused almost exclusively on the Common Core. Without a doubt, the schools with scores demonstrating under 20% proficiency on the SBAC spent more time on test prep than the schools in affluent districts with higher SBAC scores. Yet we are told that schools must limit their curriculum to Common Core so that the school’s test scores will improve. It makes no sense. Some districts which had curriculum dedicated to the Common Core and teachers who taught to it diligently had low test scores, and some districts that just about ignored the Common Core in curriculum and practice had good scores. High test scores and teaching to the Common Core had  zero correlation.

We also learned that SBAC scores tell us nothing about students’ real competencies. As anyone who has an understanding of how to teach students to be thoughtful readers, effective writers, and competent thinkers knows, the more a teacher teaches to the Common Core ELA standards, the farther away those students will be from being thoughtful readers, effective writers, and competent thinkers. So the actual achievement gap will widen between the students in the affluent communities and the students in the cities with their increased test prep due to the low 2015 SBAC scores.

The Common Core Standards for English Language Arts lack any research base whatsoever and have no evidence that they will produce “college and career readiness”, yet we restrict our neediest students to that Common Core regimen due to our misplaced reliance on the SBAC scores. Just because a PR firm was hired to promote the Common Core Standards and that PR firm, through focus groups, determined that “rigor” was the word that would sell the standards to the American public does not make the standards or the SBAC test rigorous. Neither of them is. The Common Core ELA standards teach a discredited way of reading and an inadequate way of writing, and the SBAC test is an exercise in “Gotcha”.

We did learn from the 2015 SBAC test that opting-out is going to be an influential part of the narrative about assessing learning in the future. For example, in West Hartford, Conard High School had an opt-out rate of 5.5% and Hall High School had a 61.4 % opt out rate. What then can we tell about the two schools in the same town? Does Hall have more students who have applied to competitive colleges and do not want their excellent records of good grades and SAT scores hurt by a test designed to produce low scores? Does Hall High have parents who are more savvy than Conard parents and who are making a statement about their values and the kind of learning that they want for their children? Is learning richer and deeper at Hall than at Conard so that students and their parents seek other kinds of demonstrations of student achievement?

Also, are Westbrook High School, North Haven High School, Hartford Public High School’s Law and Government Academy, Daniel Hand High School in Madison, and E.O. Smith High School in Storrs places where the emphasis is on real learning because more than 85% of the juniors in those schools opted-out of the 2105 SBAC math test? School by school, parent by parent, district by district, those questions will be explored now that Connecticut has completed its first year of SBAC testing, and, if we can judge by what is happening in New York where implementation of the Common Core and the taking of a Common Core aligned test is a year ahead of Connecticut, it seems reasonable to believe that opting-out will increase.

Over this past year of SBAC testing, some told the story that we need SBAC to close the achievement gap. That story is wrong. Closing the achievement gap will never happen with standardized tests. Some told the story that we need SBAC to gather data in order to compare schools and districts. That story is wrong. SBAC data is same-old, same-old; we had it all along with our state tests. Some told the story that we need SBAC to gather data about individual students and the skills they need. That story is wrong. SBAC doesn’t address students’ learning needs; teachers do. Some told the story that SBAC measures what students need to learn, but that story is terribly wrong. Those telling it must not be educators. They must not know what real learning is or what students need to be prepared to do.

It is time to end SBAC. It is time for a new story. A true one.

You can read the full blog at: http://reallearningct.com/2015/09/01/sbac-the-beginning-of-the-end/

21,000 children head off to the 1st day of public school in Hartford, but not Luke Bronin’s

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Last week Hartford, Connecticut parents got their public school children packed up, ready to go and sent them off to the first day of school.

But the man who aspires to be Hartford’s next mayor, and would have the responsibility of appointing a majority of the members of the Hartford Board of Education, wasn’t one of them.

Instead, Greenwich native Luke Bronin, who moved to Hartford and is running for Mayor, dropped his child off for their first day at the prestigious Renbrook private school in West Hartford, Connecticut where the annual tuition runs from $19,500 to $33,500 per year depending on which grade the child is enrolled in.

While the vast majority of children in the United States go to public schools, those with means have the choice to send their children to a public school or a private school.

Growing up, Luke Bronin only attended private schools.  Starting with the Greenwich Day School, where tuition starts at $33,500 for kindergarten and rises to $37,500 a year for the higher grades, Bronin then attended Phillips Exeter Academy, with a cost of $48,000 a year, although that does include the $180 a year “Linen Fee.”  Luke Bronin then spent ten years in the Halls of Yale, Oxford and the Yale Law School.

With privilege comes opportunity and while no one should ever begrudge a parent for doing everything they can to ensure that their child or children get a quality education, it is relevant when a politician who says he is ready to “turn-around” Hartford’s public schools won’t enroll his own child in the public school system he claims that he will serve.

As part of his campaign, Luke Bronin has been saying that taxes in Harford are too high and, if elected, he won’t raise them.

However, the harsh reality is that despite the fact that more than 80% of Hartford’s school budget is paid for by the State, Hartford’s public schools are inadequately funded.

Hartford class sizes are too large and there aren’t sufficient services to help students who come from poor families, those who aren’t fluent in the English language and those who need special education services.

So while Luke Bronin says he will “support” Hartford public schools, he is also promising not to increase revenue, which would leave Hartford schools with even fewer resources.

By comparison, while Bronin’s proposed policies would hurt Hartford schools, he is choosing a very different type of school for his own child.

According to Renbrook,

The Renbrook education is characterized by small classes and personal attention from faculty members. There are 189 students in Renbrook’s Upper School (Grades 6-9) and only 10-12 students in each classroom. In this small learning environment, students have the opportunity to ask questions, share ideas, and to learn from other students, as well as the teachers. Renbrook’s teachers are dedicated, passionate educators who support the advancement and achievement of each individual student.

The Student:Teacher Ratio at Renbrook is 7:1

The Student:Teacher ratio in the Hartford school system is more than double that number.

And in addition, while Hartford’s public school students, parents, teachers and school administrators are crippled by the Common Core, the Common Core SBAC testing scam and Connecticut’s unfair teacher evaluation system, Luke Bronin’s child is attending a school that DOESN’T adhere to the Common Core SYSTEM, doesn’t force children to take the unfair Common Core SBAC testing program and treats their school teachers like the education professionals that they are.

Bronin’s platform will lead to budget cuts for Hartford’s students, while his child will be attending a school that informs parents that Renbrook is located on;

Seventy-five acres of woodlands, wetlands, fields and gardens; four athletic fields, a high-and low-ropes course; three playgrounds, plus a natural pond for science study. Teaching space includes 11 buildings, 10 math, science and technology labs, seven music and art studios, two theaters, a dining commons, a Middle School Mathematics Center, and a 16,600 sq. ft. Library & Technology Center, heated and cooled with geothermal technology.

Meanwhile, many Hartford schools don’t even have functioning libraries and most certified library professionals have been laid off or their positions not re-filled.

This week, Achieve Hartford! Inc., the corporate funded education reform group in Hartford wrote,

The first day of school in Hartford Tuesday underscored the importance of community partnerships, parent support, and staff dedication. At Hartford’s Martin Luther King, Jr., Engineering and Green Technology Academy, and Breakthrough Magnet Schools, a key message was that, if indeed it takes a village to raise a child, a whole lot of villagers are on board.

Yes, as we know… It does take a village to raise a child!

It takes a village and sufficient public funds to provide a quality education to all of the children in Hartford and Connecticut’s public schools.

And it also takes elected and appointed officials who are committed to helping those public schools succeed.

If Luke Bronin wants to send his child or children to an elite private school and can afford to pay $20,000 a year, per child, to ensure they have a private school education, that is certainly his right as a parent.

But parents, teachers and the public in Hartford and across that state shouldn’t be fooled.  When the person who wants to be mayor, and who would appoint the members of the Hartford Board of Education, decides to enroll his child or children in a prestigious private school, rather than the city’s public schools, it sends out a powerful message about privilege and entitlement.

Of course, Luke Bronin isn’t alone when it comes to claiming that he is ready to oversee public schools while sending his own child or children to a private school.

Heck, even Arne Duncan, Obama’s Secretary of Education and leading corporate education reform advocate, claims that he supports public schools while sending his children to one of the most elite and expensive private schools in the country.

Did the Achievement First Charter School Chain Cheat on the Connecticut SBAC tests?

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The case has been repeatedly made that that the Common Core SBAC testing scheme is unfair, inappropriate and discriminatory.  Designed to fail students, many of the questions on the SBAC test covered material that students had not even been taught.

However, from day one, the charter school industry has been among the SBAC testing program’s greatest champions.  The Achievement First Charter School Chain, along with Connecticut’s two major charter school advocacy groups, ConnCAN and CCER, have spent millions of dollars lobbying in favor of the Common Core SBAC testing system and Governor Dannel Malloy’s “education reform” agenda.

In recent days, both charter school lobbying groups have written commentary pieces lauding the SBAC testing scam.

See:  For the sake of Connecticut’s children, embrace the SBAC data (By ConnCAN’s Jennifer Alexander) and Connecticut’s students must be challenged in school (By CCER’s Jeffrey Villar)

Now that Governor Dannel Malloy’s administration has finally released the results of the 2015 SBAC testing, parents, students and teachers and taxpayers can see just how unfair and discriminatory the massive and expensive SBAC testing program is.

But beyond the major underlying problems with the SBAC tests, an incredible issue immediately stands out when reviewing the SBAC test results.

The results “achieved” by the Achievement First charter schools chain of charter schools are extraordinarily different than the results from other schools across Connecticut.

Take a look the data…

Statewide, the number of students that met or exceeded the pre-determined “Achievement Level” in MATH ranged from 30.6% for 11th graders up 48% for 3rd graders.  This means that there was a total variation in the percent of students reaching the “Achievement Level”  of 17.4% across grade levels.

Total Variation:  48% – 30.6% = 17.4%

Grade Percent at Level 3 & 4:
Meets or Exceeds the Achievement Level
3 48.0%
4 44.2%
5 36.9%
6 37.3%
7 38.8%
8 36.8%
11 30.6%

 

The variation in the percent of students reaching “goal” across grade levels was even less in Connecticut’s major cities;

The MATH achievement by grade in the Hartford public school ranged by 6.7%

The MATH achievement by grade in New Haven public school ranged by 5.6%

The MATH achievement by grade in New Haven public schools ranged by 10%

But unlike Connecticut’s statewide data and the results from other urban school distrticts, the SBAC achievement results at Achievement First charter schools had incredible fluctuations between grade levels – differences that suggest that students in some grades may of had some “assistance” filling in the answers.

Achievement First Hartford Academy reported achievement scores by grade that varied by 48.2%

Achievement First Amistad reported achievement scores by grade that varied by 40.9%

Achievement First Elm City Prep reported achievement scores by grade that varied by 53.8%

Achievement First Bridgeport reported achievement scores by grade that varied by 35.3%

According to the data released by the Connecticut Department of Education on Friday, the variation between grades at Achievement First charter schools was massive, unusual and extremely suspect.

In fact, the Achievement First charter school results are so suspect that the State of Connecticut should take immediate steps to conduct an investigation into whether the large charter school chain instituted some mechanism or system to inflate test results in some grades.

The following is the data released by the Connecticut Department of Education.

  GR SBAC % PROFICIENT VARIATION IN SBAC SCORES BY GRADE
HARTFORD
Hartford School District 03 18.6%
Hartford School District 04 13.7%
Hartford School District 05 13.3%
Hartford School District 06 12.3%
Hartford School District 07 16.3%
Hartford School District 08 11.9%
Hartford School District 11 12.6%
VARIATION IN SBAC SCORES BY GRADE     6.7%
Achievement First Hartford Academy Inc. 03 55.1%
Achievement First Hartford Academy Inc. 04 46.3%
Achievement First Hartford Academy Inc. 05 10.3%
Achievement First Hartford Academy Inc. 06 13.9%
Achievement First Hartford Academy Inc. 07 23.0%
Achievement First Hartford Academy Inc. 08 6.9%
Achievement First Hartford Academy Inc. 11 45.2%
VARIATION IN SBAC SCORES BY GRADE     48.2%
NEW HAVEN      
New Haven School District 03 16.9%
New Haven School District 04 11.3%
New Haven School District 05 12.3%
New Haven School District 06 13.7%
New Haven School District 07 12.5%
New Haven School District 08 15.0%
New Haven School District 11 11.5%
VARIATION IN SBAC SCORES BY GRADE     5.6%
Achievement First Inc. Amistad Academy 03 51.1%
Achievement First Inc. Amistad Academy 04 46.1%
Achievement First Inc. Amistad Academy 05 10.2%
Achievement First Inc. Amistad Academy 06 36.4%  
Achievement First Inc. Amistad Academy 07 25.6%
Achievement First Inc. Amistad Academy 08 41.8%
Achievement First Inc. Amistad Academy 11 25.0%
VARIATION IN SBAC SCORES BY GRADE     40.9%
Achievement First Inc. Elm City College Prep. 03 70.7%
Achievement First Inc. Elm City College Prep. 04 52.6%
Achievement First Inc. Elm City College Prep. 05 26.3%
Achievement First Inc. Elm City College Prep. 06 16.9%
Achievement First Inc. Elm City College Prep. 07 46.6%
Achievement First Inc. Elm City College Prep. 08 44.9%
Achievement First Inc. Elm City College Prep. 11 *
VARIATION IN SBAC SCORES BY GRADE     53.8%
BRIDGEPORT    
Bridgeport School District 03 15.0%
Bridgeport School District 04 7.2%
Bridgeport School District 05 <5%
Bridgeport School District 06 8.5%
Bridgeport School District 07 11.6%
Bridgeport School District 08 8.3%
Bridgeport School District 11 6.0%
VARIATION IN SBAC SCORES BY GRADE     10.0%
Bridgeport Achievement First Inc. 03 42.7%
Bridgeport Achievement First Inc. 04 36.0%
Bridgeport Achievement First Inc. 05 7.4%
Bridgeport Achievement First Inc. 06 14.6%
Bridgeport Achievement First Inc. 07 29.0%
Bridgeport Achievement First Inc. 08 39.7%
Bridgeport Achievement First Inc. 11 22.2%
VARIATION IN SBAC SCORES BY GRADE     35.3%

 

SBAC Results – Telling us what we know about poverty, language barriers and unmet Special Education needs

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Academic experts have proven over and over again that the major factors influencing standardized test results are poverty, language barriers and unmet special education needs.

Wealthier students, students who are fluent in English and students who don’t need special education services do better.

For students who do need special education services, when schools properly fund those programs, students do better.

The Common Core SBAC test is not only designed to fail the majority of public school students, but is particularly discriminatory because the SBAC scam’s definition of “success” is even more directly connected to wealth, proficiency in the English language and the lack of any need for special education services.

The following chart makes the unfair, inappropriate and discriminatory nature of the Common Core SBAC test extremely clear.  The chart rank orders the percent of students deemed “proficient” in MATH, by town, according to the 2015 Common Core.

Note that eighth graders who live in wealthier towns with few English Language Learners and the funds necessary to provide special education services score higher on the SBAC Math test, while students who come from communities in which there is significant poverty, large numbers of students who aren’t fluent in English and lack the money to provide sufficient special education services do poorly.

Connecticut’s didn’t need to spend $50 million dollars in scarce taxpayer funds and tens of millions more at the local level, over the past two years to identify the problem.

The problem is that poverty, language barriers and unmet special education services reduce academic performance.

Experts, teachers, school administrators and policymakers knew what the problem was decades ago before the Connecticut Mastery Tests were even begun and they have known it as the CMTs were given every year.

The Common Core SBAC testing is an extraordinary waste of time, money and effort.

More testing is not the answer.

The answer is for Governor Dannel Malloy and the Connecticut General Assembly to adopt a fair, equitable and Constitutional school funding formula that provides schools with the resources needed to ensure all of Connecticut’s children get the quality education they need and deserve!

Percent of 8th Graders deemed “proficient” by the SBAC test, by town:

School District Mathematics
Percent at Level 3 & 4:
 Meets or Exceeds the Achievement Level
Darien School District 83.4%
Westbrook School District 76.7%
Avon School District 76.6%
Farmington School District 74.3%
New Canaan School District 71.7%
Guilford School District 69.1%
Kent School District 69.0%
Regional School District 05 67.9%
Ridgefield School District 67.6%
Easton School District 66.4%
Mansfield School District 66.1%
Canton School District 65.9%
Preston School District 65.7%
Clinton School District 65.3%
Bozrah School District 65.0%
Westport School District 64.9%
Regional School District 07 64.7%
Tolland School District 64.7%
Salem School District 63.6%
Regional School District 10 63.4%
Simsbury School District 63.2%
Granby School District 62.3%
Pomfret School District 62.1%
Glastonbury School District 61.8%
East Granby School District 61.3%
Greenwich School District 61.2%
Redding School District 61.1%
Hartland School District 60.9%
Madison School District 60.5%
Salisbury School District 60.0%
Ellington School District 59.8%
Regional School District 08 59.7%
Weston School District 59.2%
Willington School District 58.7%
Ledyard School District 57.9%
Cheshire School District 57.5%
South Windsor School District 57.4%
Regional School District 15 57.1%
East Lyme School District 56.9%
Brookfield School District 56.0%
Newtown School District 55.8%
Wilton School District 55.4%
Fairfield School District 55.1%
Voluntown School District 52.6%
Portland School District 52.5%
New Fairfield School District 52.2%
Southington School District 52.2%
Colchester School District 52.0%
Old Saybrook School District 51.9%
Shelton School District 51.4%
Regional School District 18 50.4%
Rocky Hill School District 50.3%
West Hartford School District 49.3%
Monroe School District 49.0%
Litchfield School District 48.8%
Berlin School District 48.4%
Trumbull School District 48.3%
Stonington School District 48.2%
Regional School District 04 47.3%
East Haddam School District 47.3%
Canterbury School District 46.7%
Regional School District 17 46.6%
Seymour School District 46.3%
Suffield School District 45.4%
Columbia School District 45.3%
Regional School District 13 45.2%
Stafford School District 45.1%
Elm City College Preparatory Charter School 44.9%
Somers School District 44.3%
Coventry School District 43.4%
Thomaston School District 42.9%
Regional School District 12 42.9%
Amistad Academy Charter School 41.8%
Newington School District 41.5%
Bethel School District 41.4%
Bolton School District 41.4%
Odyssey Community Charter School 41.2%
North Haven School District 41.1%
Waterford School District 40.6%
North Canaan School District 40.5%
Bridgeport Achievement First Charter School 39.7%
Regional School District 14 39.6%
Oxford School District 38.8%
Integrated Day Charter School 38.7%
Milford School District 38.1%
Regional School District 16 37.9%
Groton School District 36.2%
Wolcott School District 35.4%
Montville School District 35.4%
Wethersfield School District 35.2%
Stamford School District 35.0%
Griswold School District 35.0%
Windsor Locks School District 34.9%
Wallingford School District 34.8%
East Hampton School District 34.4%
Bristol School District 33.9%
Watertown School District 32.4%
Woodstock School District 32.3%
Lebanon School District 32.2%
New Milford School District 31.4%
Branford School District 30.8%
Windsor School District 30.2%
Vernon School District 30.1%
Plymouth School District 29.7%
Cromwell School District 29.5%
Plainville School District 28.6%
Hamden School District 27.0%
East Windsor School District 25.7%
Ashford School District 25.5%
Park City Prep Charter School 25.3%
Middletown School District 25.0%
Norwalk School District 24.7%
Danbury School District 23.8%
Putnam School District 23.6%
Lisbon School District 22.9%
North Stonington School District 22.9%
Sprague School District 22.7%
Stratford School District 22.2%
Manchester School District 22.1%
West Haven School District 22.0%
The Gilbert School District 21.9%
Jumoke Academy Charter School 21.3%
Naugatuck School District 21.0%
Regional School District 06 20.4%
Torrington School District 20.1%
The Bridge Academy Charter School 19.1%
Norwich School District 18.1%
Thompson School District 17.6%
Derby School District 16.8%
Bloomfield School District 16.5%
East Haven School District 16.1%
Killingly School District 16.0%
Enfield School District 15.8%
North Branford School District 15.5%
Brooklyn School District 15.5%
New Haven School District 15.0%
New Beginnings Inc. Charter School 14.3%
Meriden School District 13.6%
Windham School District 13.3%
Highville Charter School 12.5%
Plainfield School District 12.3%
Ansonia School District 12.1%
Hartford School District 11.9%
New Britain School District 11.8%
East Hartford School District 10.4%
New London School District 8.3%
Bridgeport School District 8.3%
Regional School District 11 8.1%
Waterbury School District 7.3%
Achievement First Hartford Academy Inc. Charter School 6.9%

Schools that respected parents’ right to opt their children out of unfair Common Core SBAC tests

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After withholding Connecticut’s Common Core SBAC results for weeks, the Connecticut State Department of Education announced that approximately 267,000 Connecticut public school students took the SBAC test in 2015, which is just over 95% of all students.

By comparison, in New York State, more than 200,000 public school children were opted out of that state’s Common Cores testing program.  That means MORE than 20% of all  public school students did not take the test.

In New York, Connecticut and all across the nation parents have a fundamental, inalienable right to protect their children from the abusive nature of the Common Core SBAC testing scam.

However, in Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy and his administration led an unethical and immoral campaign that lied, mislead and bullied parents into believing that they did not have the right to opt their children out of these discriminatory and destructive tests.

Thankfully, a handful of school superintendents and local school officials stood up against the abuse and provided parents and students with accurate information about their rights.  In those communities, the number of students who were opted out of the Common Core SBAC test skyrocketed.

Leading the list of communities that treated parents and students with respect were Westbrook, North Haven, Madison, E.O. Smith (Region #19), Stonington and Woodstock Academy.

You can read the State Department of Education’s press release here: http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/lib/sde/pdf/pressroom/state_releases_new_test_scores_2015.pdf

And access some of the data here: http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/lib/sde/excel/smarterbalanced/settingthebaseline2015.xls

The following chart reflects individual schools in which opt-out rates exceeded 75%.

School School District Percent who opted out/ did not take SBAC Math test
Westbrook High School Westbrook School District 100%
North Haven High School North Haven School District 99%
HPHS Law and Government Academy Hartford School District 92%
Daniel Hand High School Madison School District 86%
E. O. Smith High School Regional School District 19 85%
Danbury High School Danbury School District 84%
Biotechnology, Research and Zoological Studies HS at the Fairchild-Wheeler Magnet Campus Bridgeport School District 80%
Stonington High School Stonington School District 78%
Woodstock Academy Woodstock Academy District 78%

 

While far too many local officials implemented the Malloy administration’s abusive attempt to stop parents from utilizing their right to opt their children out of the Common Core SBAC test, the following 143 schools had opt out rates that were higher than 5%.  The names in red note schools were less than 50% of the students took the test.

If the school you are looking for is not on the list, it means administrators were able to keep the opt our rate below the 5% level.

School School District Percent of students who took the SBAC Math test
Westbrook High School Westbrook School District 0.0%
North Haven High School North Haven School District 0.4%
HPHS Law and Government Academy Hartford School District 7.9%
Daniel Hand High School Madison School District 13.5%
E. O. Smith High School Regional School District 19 14.8%
Danbury High School Danbury School District 15.6%
Biotechnology, Research and Zoological Studies HS at the Fairchild-Wheeler Magnet Campus Bridgeport School District 20.0%
Stonington High School Stonington School District 22.1%
Woodstock Academy Woodstock Academy District 22.3%
Staples High School Westport School District 27.1%
Metropolitan Business Academy New Haven School District 27.3%
Watertown High School Watertown School District 35.0%
Joel Barlow High School Regional School District 09 36.4%
Rocky Hill High School Rocky Hill School District 37.3%
Hall High School West Hartford School District 38.6%
Wilbur Cross High School New Haven School District 39.9%
Robert E. Fitch High School Groton School District 40.0%
Ridgefield High School Ridgefield School District 40.7%
New Fairfield High School New Fairfield School District 42.2%
Windsor High School Windsor School District 43.3%
South Windsor High School South Windsor School District 47.9%
Trumbull High School Trumbull School District 48.6%
Manchester High School Manchester School District 49.3%
Sherman School Sherman School District 53.6%
Stevens Alternate High school East Hartford School District 54.5%
James Hillhouse High School New Haven School District 55.0%
Bulkeley High School Upper School Hartford School District 57.1%
Weston High School Weston School District 57.1%
Riverview School Unified School District #2 60.0%
Stamford Academy Stamford Academy District 61.8%
Aerospace/Hydrospace, Engineering and Physical Sciences HS at the Fairchild-Wheeler Magnet Campus Bridgeport School District 61.9%
Renzulli Academy Hartford School District 62.0%
Greater Hartford Academy of  the Arts High School – Full Time Capitol Region Education Council 63.5%
Information Technology and Software Engineering High School at the Fairchild-Wheeler Magnet Campus Bridgeport School District 64.8%
H. H. Ellis Technical High School Connecticut Technical High School System 64.8%
Wethersfield High School Wethersfield School District 65.5%
Portland High School Portland School District 66.7%
Culinary Arts Academy Hartford School District 68.3%
Newtown High School Newtown School District 68.9%
Arts at the Capitol Theater Magnet School (ACT) Eastern Connecticut Regional Educational Service Center (EASTCONN) 70.6%
HPHS Academy of Nursing and Health Science Hartford School District 70.7%
Granby Memorial High School Granby School District 71.1%
Island Avenue Elementary School Madison School District 71.8%
Harding High School Bridgeport School District 73.6%
Classical Magnet School Hartford School District 74.0%
Torrington High School Torrington School District 77.2%
Chaplin Elementary School Chaplin School District 77.3%
Algonquin School Regional School District 16 78.3%
Fairfield Warde High School Fairfield School District 78.9%
Sharon Center School Sharon School District 79.0%
Darien High School Darien School District 79.3%
Coventry High School Coventry School District 80.2%
Tolland High School Tolland School District 81.7%
East School Torrington School District 82.2%
Farmington High School Farmington School District 82.9%
The Gilbert School The Gilbert School District 83.2%
New Milford High School New Milford School District 84.4%
Crosby High School Waterbury School District 84.4%
Broadview Middle School Danbury School District 84.7%
Quinebaug Middle College Eastern Connecticut Regional Educational Service Center (EASTCONN) 85.2%
Central High School Bridgeport School District 85.4%
Joseph A. Foran High School Milford School District 85.7%
Wamogo Regional High School Regional School District 06 86.9%
John Read Middle School Redding School District 87.0%
Hamden High School Hamden School District 87.0%
High School Inc. Hartford School District 87.2%
Sound School New Haven School District 88.2%
Plainfield High School Plainfield School District 88.3%
HPHS Academy of Engineering and Green Technology Hartford School District 88.9%
Barlow Mountain Elementary School Ridgefield School District 89.0%
Old Saybrook Senior High School Old Saybrook School District 89.1%
Lyme-Old Lyme High School Regional School District 18 89.4%
Stratford High School Stratford School District 89.6%
Amity Regional High School Regional School District 05 89.9%
Norwich Free Academy Norwich Free Academy District 90.0%
Pathways Academy of Technology and Design Hartford School District 90.1%
Newington High School Newington School District 90.2%
West Haven High School West Haven School District 90.3%
Walter C. Polson Upper Middle School Madison School District 90.6%
Nonnewaug High School Regional School District 14 90.6%
Nathan Hale-Ray High School East Haddam School District 90.7%
Preston Plains School Preston School District 90.7%
Schaghticoke Middle School New Milford School District 90.7%
Westhill High School Stamford School District 90.8%
Stamford High School Stamford School District 90.9%
Clark School Hartford School District 91.3%
High School In The Community New Haven School District 91.3%
The Academy of Information Technology Stamford School District 91.3%
Hampton Elementary School Hampton School District 91.5%
Norwalk High School Norwalk School District 91.6%
James Morris School Regional School District 06 91.7%
Mystic Middle School Stonington School District 91.7%
Madison Middle School Trumbull School District 91.8%
Ansonia High School Ansonia School District 92.0%
Coginchaug Regional High School Regional School District 13 92.0%
Bassick High School Bridgeport School District 92.1%
Mansfield Middle School School Mansfield School District 92.2%
Global Experience Magnet School Bloomfield School District 92.2%
Colebrook Consolidated School Colebrook School District 92.3%
Dr. Robert H. Brown Middle School Madison School District 92.6%
Francis T. Maloney High School Meriden School District 92.6%
Dorothy C. Goodwin School Mansfield School District 92.6%
Torrington Middle School Torrington School District 92.7%
Cooperative High School New Haven School District 92.8%
Naugatuck High School Naugatuck School District 92.8%
Branford High School Branford School District 92.9%
Fairfield Ludlowe High School Fairfield School District 93.0%
New Haven Academy New Haven School District 93.1%
Terryville High School Plymouth School District 93.1%
Suffield High School Suffield School District 93.1%
Wheeler High School North Stonington School District 93.2%
Marine Science Magnet High School of Southeastern Connecticut Learn 93.3%
Tourtellotte Memorial High School Thompson School District 93.4%
Brookfield High School Brookfield School District 93.5%
Public Safety Academy Capitol Region Education Council 93.7%
Global Communications Academy Hartford School District 93.7%
Housatonic Valley Regional High School Regional School District 01 93.7%
Ledyard High School Ledyard School District 93.8%
Cornwall Consolidated School Cornwall School District 93.8%
Ellington High School Ellington School District 93.9%
Avon High School Avon School District 93.9%
Shepherd Glen School Hamden School District 94.0%
Hillcrest Middle School Trumbull School District 94.1%
Sports and Medical Sciences Academy Hartford School District 94.1%
W. F. Kaynor Technical High School Connecticut Technical High School System 94.4%
New Fairfield Middle School New Fairfield School District 94.4%
Ann Antolini School New Hartford School District 94.4%
Wilby High School Waterbury School District 94.4%
Meeting House Hill School New Fairfield School District 94.4%
Walter G. Cady School Unified School District #2 94.4%
Conard High School West Hartford School District 94.5%
North Haven Middle School North Haven School District 94.5%
Northwestern Regional Middle School Regional School District 07 94.6%
New London High School New London School District 94.6%
Metropolitan Learning Center for Global and International Studies Capitol Region Education Council 94.6%
Beecher Road School Woodbridge School District 94.6%
Wilton High School Wilton School District 94.6%
Beecher School New Haven School District 94.7%
Granby Memorial Middle School Granby School District 94.8%
Israel Putnam School Meriden School District 94.8%
Oliver Wolcott Technical High School Connecticut Technical High School System 94.9%
Center Road School Vernon School District 94.9%

Oh no!  69.4% of Connecticut juniors are FAILURES according to SBAC math results

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As designed, intended and projected, the vast majority of Connecticut stuents have been labeled as failures according the unfair, inappropriate and discriminatory Common Core SBAC math test results.

With the Malloy administration finally releasing the long awaited SBAC results, parents can see for themselves what happens when students are tested on content that they haven’t even been taught.

According to the Common Core SBAC results, a majority of Connecticut students  – in every grade – failed to meet the so-called “achievement” level.

The destructive testing scam has labeled;

52% of 3rd graders as failure

56% of 4th graders as failures

63% of 5th graders as failures

64% of 6th graders as failures

61% of 7th graders as failures

63% of 8th graders as failures

And 69% of 11th graders as failures  

COMMON CORE SBAC MATH RESULTS   

Grade Percent at Level 3 & 4:
Meets or Exceeds the Achievement Level
3 48.0%
4 44.2%
5 36.9%
6 37.3%
7 38.8%
8 36.8%
11 30.6%
State 39.1%

 

The Common Core SBAC Math results have also labeled

92% of students requiring special education services as failures

93% of students who need help with the English language as failures

Mathematics
Percent at Level 3 & 4:
 Meets or Exceeds the Achievement Level
Students with Disabilities 8.2%
English Learners 7.0%

 

Students from poorer families are also unfairly labeled by the SBAC testing

85% of students who get a free school lunch have “failed”

And 74% of students who qualify for a reduced price lunch have “failed”

As proof that these tests are driven in no small part by family income, compared to students who get free or reduced lunches, “ONLY” 46% of students who can afford to pay for their own school lunches have been deemed failures by the SBAC math test.

Statewide results by free or reduced priced meal eligibility status Mathematics
Percent at Level 3 & 4:
 Meets or Exceeds the Achievement Level
Free 15.4%
Reduced 26.4%
Not Eligible 52.3%
All Students 39.1%

 

Check back for more information about the absurd SBAC testing scheme

NEWS FLASH on SBAC:  Beware the cozy relationship between Malloy and the Education Reform Industry.

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Prior to the Malloy administration even announcing that they would be releasing the 2015 SBAC results today, the state’s two major corporate funded education reform lobby groups, ConnCAN and the Connecticut Council for Education Reform (CCER), invited reporters to join a “media call” in which the groups would discuss the SBAC results.  Then, just as quickly, the call was cancelled.

As we learned this morning – Friday, August 28, 2015 – Governor Malloy’s administration is finally releasing the 2015 SBAC results this afternoon, but the super-secret nature of the information didn’t stop ConnCAN and CCER from announcing on Wednesday that they were holding a “press call” this morning so that the two pro-Common Core, pro-Common Core testing, pro-charter school, anti-teacher advocacy groups could discuss the SBAC results with the media — prior to those results actually being released.

And then, when questions arose about what communication had taken place between the Malloy administration and the two lobbing groups, ConnCAN and CCER quickly cancelled the media call, leaving one wondering whether the Malloy administration broke the law by refusing to give information about the SBAC results to the media and Connecticut citizens while actually providing the information to the two private lobbying entities.

Here is what ConnCAN and CCER sent out:

ConnCAN and CCER to Host Press Call and Outline Expectations for the Smarter Balance Assessment Results

***Media Press Call on Friday, August 28, 2015 at 10:00 AM EST***
Please Click Here to Register for the Call
–Call-in number will be made available upon registration–
Media Participants Should Dial-In 5-10 Minutes Prior to Call Start Time

New Haven, CT — The Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now (ConnCAN) has teamed up with the Connecticut Council for Education Reform (CCER) to host a press briefing call, which will walk reporters through their organizations’ expectations for the Smarter Balance Assessment results.

The briefing will be an opportunity for media to learn more about the Smarter Balanced Assessment, the benefits of the test, and each organization’s plans and expectations as the state prepares for the public release of the results.

Right now, the state has only released the results to district superintendents. The test results and data have not yet been widely released. The results are expected to be made publicly available within the next few weeks.

ConnCAN CEO Jennifer Alexander and CCER Executive Director Jeffrey Villar will be available for questions immediately following the call. 

WHO:
Jeffrey Villar, CCER Executive Director
Jennifer Alexander, ConnCAN Chief Executive Officer
Yamuna Menon, Director of Research and Policy, ConnCAN

WHEN:
Friday, August 28, 2015
10:00 AM EST

CALL-IN NUMBER: 
***Made available upon registration***

And then came this…

POSTPONED
ConnCAN and CCER to Host Press Call and Outline Expectations for the Smarter Balance Assessment Results
***Media Press Call on Friday, August 28, 2015 at 10:00 AM EST***
**Postponed until a later date**New Haven, CT —  Due to scheduling conflicts, the media briefing call regarding the Smarter Balanced Assessment results with the Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now (ConnCAN) and the Connecticut Council for Education Reform (CCER) will be postponed until a later date.

 

CT SBAC Results – It’s a Friday afternoon in August – Good time to release the results – Today at noon!

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Governor Dannel Malloy’s administration is finally ready to release the 2015 SBAC results!

Two months after parents in Washington State and Oregon were informed about how their state’s children did on the unfair, inappropriate and discriminatory Common Core SBAC tests, Connecticut will finally get the news today about how our children “performed” on the absurd testing fiasco.

The first rule of modern government and politics is that when you don’t want people to know something, release the information on a Friday.  If possible, a Friday in August is best time to make something “public” if the goal is to make sure the public doesn’t actually hear about it.  The technique is an “art form” and strategy that the Malloy administration has used repeatedly over the past five years.

So now, after the spending more than $50 million dollars in state funds over the post two years on the new Common Core standardized testing scheme, and local school districts spending millions more, the Connecticut State Department will be revealing the test results this afternoon… A Friday afternoon in August.

In addition, apparently the wait for the CMT/CAPT Science test is finally over as well.  While the Common Core and Common Core testing scheme has obliterated the usefulness of the Math and English Language tests, the traditional testing process is still being used to measure whether students are learning the state’s science curriculum.

Unfortunately, the education reform industry’s definition for being “college and career” ready only applies to Math and English so other important subjects, like science, go unaddressed.  If policymakers were really concerned about the “whole child,” the science results would have been released long ago so that schools and parents could be focusing on the full array of subjects that allow student’s to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to live fulfilling lives.

Check back later for the numbers and the political spin from Governor Malloy’s administration and the Corporate Education Reform Industry.

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