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Easton Schools Chief Shrugs Off High Rankings

EASTON, Conn. – Easton Public Schools' high marks for academic achievement in a nonprofit study shouldn’t be taken too seriously, Superintendent Bernard Josefsberg said.

The Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now , also known as ConnCAN, issues report cards and letter grades annually to over 1,000 Connecticut public schools in 160 districts. The report cards are designed to “create transparency and awareness about how public schools perform,” the organization says.

“I don’t find these rankings particularly meaningful. The student performance is confined to test results. What's more important here is to look for what is not captured on these report cards,” Josefsberg said.

The scores are based in large part on student performances from the Connecticut Mastery and the Connecticut Academic Performance tests. ConnCAN also subdivides the categories, and grades schools on low income performance and the performance of Hispanic and African American students.

Joel Barlow High School was not ranked in these categories because the number of low-income and minority students is small.

“There are a variety of indicators of individual student performance and group performance of a school that are difficult to aggregate,” Josefsberg said.

Joel Barlow was ranked four out of 190 schools and earned an A- overall. Eighty-five percent of Joel Barlow students met state goals in math, 82-percent met the state goals in reading, 80-percent met state goals in science and 92-percent of the students met state goals in writing.

The students at Helen Keller Middle School also earned an A, and ranked No. 4 out of 298 schools. Ninety-three percent of students met academic goals set by the state compared to 69-percent average in the state.

Ninety-two percent of Helen Keller students met state goals in math, 96 percent met state goals in reading, 91 percent met state goals in science and 94 percent met state goals in writing.

Students at Samuel Staples Elementary School also earned an A- and were ranked 51 out of 571 schools. Eighty-six percent of students met state goals overall, compared to the state’s 64-percent.

In math, 91 percent of students met state goals; in reading, 83 percent; in science, 86 percent; and in writing, 85 percent.

Although it would be hard to rank, Josefsberg said, he would like to see studies on student happiness in and outside of school and on how well rounded Connecticut students are.

“Too much emphasis” is placed on standardized test scores, he said.

To see the report cards broken down by each school or as a whole district click here .

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