South Windsor students scored well above state averages on the Connecticut Mastery Test and the Connecticut Academic Performance Test in 2012.
In separate presentations on Monday evening, South Windsor High Principal Daniel Sullivan and Assistant Superintendent, Curriculum & Instruction Daniel S. Hansen told the Board of Education that South Windsor students by and large performed well on the CMT — given to students in grades 3 through 8 — and the CAPT — administered to 10th-graders and required for graduation.
But Superintendent of Schools Kate Carter cautioned that while standardized tests are valuable tools to measure performance, they should not be considered the only tools.
“It does not measure the whole child,” Carter said.
Indeed, Like anything dealing with statistics, people looking for positives and negatives to take away from South Windsor students’ collective performance could find both.
For example, Sullivan, while discussing the CAPT results, noted that South Windsor students tested well-above the state averages in both proficiency and at goal in math, science, writing and reading.
In writing across disciplines, 97 percent of 10th graders scored at or above proficiency, well above the 88 percent state average. Nearly 84 percent of South Windsor students tested at goal in writing, compared with the state average of 63.1 percent.
In reading, South Windsor students did nearly as well, with 95.7 percent testing at or above proficiency and 75.8 percent testing at goal (representing a 9.8 percent gain over last year).
The reading performance was good enough to have South Windsor ranked in the top 5 in both goal and proficiency in the high school’s 19-member Demographic Reference Group, which is one of the most competitive in the state and includes the likes of Glastonbury, Greenwich, Avon and Simsbury.
In math and science, South Windsor still tested well above the state averages, but ranked in the mid- to low-teens among its DRG.
Sullivan noted that female students still lagged behind their male counterparts in the areas of math and science, and that an effort was being made to encourage more females to take higher-level math and science courses.
Overall, however, board members appeared to be pleased with the results of the CAPT.
“There is definitely some good news here, especially in reading and writing,” school board member Richard Mabey said.
In response to why there were such disparate results between 2011 and 2012, Sullivan responded that they were dealing with different students from separate classes as opposed to cohorts.
As for the CMT, Hansen said that gains were being made not just on the cohort level, but also when compared to other younger students from previous years. Hansen said that was an indication that interventions and other strategies that the school board adopted in years past have begun to pay dividends.
Specific groups such as special education students also made significant strides, Hansen said.
The gender gap still was present in math and science scores, with boys performing better than girls in grades five through eight, even though, for the most part, the same courses were taken by both groups of students. The opposite was the case in writing and reading, where girls far outpaced boys in both departments.
Still, more work needed to be done to meet the new accountability metrics that were being implemented across the state, Hansen said.
Included in the plan to meet those goals is the adoption of all-day kindergarten, the implementation of a professional development program to take effect in 2013-14 and more interventions in the schools.
For a table on CAPT and CMT results from South Windsor, click here.