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Easton Sophomores Post Stronger State Test Scores

EASTON, Conn. – Joel Barlow High School sophomores' scores on the Connecticut Academic Performance Test (CAPT) increased in all four areas this year, with math scores jumping 10 percentage points.

"We are very, very pleased, especially with the math scores ... it's quite a jump," said Marie McPadden, director of curriculum and interim superintendent.

Barlow students scored the highest in its District Reference Group in the writing across the disciplines section, with 91.9 percent at or above goal. In the other sections, 85 percent of students scored at or above goal in math, 79.6 percent at or above goal in science and 82.1 percent at or above goal in reading across the disciplines. In its DRG, Barlow scored sixth in math, fourth in reading and third in science.

Mike Caruso, a Joel Barlow student who took the test this year, said the reading section was the easiest and the math section the hardest.

"It was really easy. I assume I did really well," said Caruso, who on Tuesday afternoon had yet to see his test results.

More boys than girls scored at or above goal in all categories except writing. More than 20 special education students were tested and 54.4 percent scored at or above goal in math, 36 percent in science, 42.9 percent in reading across the disciplines and 60 percent in writing across the disciplines.

McPadden attributed some of the score improvement to Barlow's writing center as well as to a professional development plan that administrators and teachers put into place. This is the second year of the program where all teachers take part in one of four modules–literacy, inquiry, technology and Scientific Research Based Intervention. At the end of four years, teachers will have participated in all modules.

"Science and social studies teachers can teach literacy strategies," said McPadden, who said this makes a big difference in the CAPT scores.

This year's eighth graders piloted a new eighth-grade writing portfolio, which McPadden said will further prepare students for writing tests.

McPadden said the teachers and administrators will analyze the data and use it to "decode what we could do to make things better."

"Teachers have done a wonderful job aligning the curriculum and providing rigorous instruction every day," said McPadden. "We pride ourselves on doing what is best for the students. In the end, we're preparing them to leave Barlow. I think we're doing a great job."

Percent of students at/above “Goal”

Region 9        State Grade 10

Math 2008                    86.3              50.2

Math 2009                    74.9              48

Math 2010                    75.7              48.9

Math 2011                    85                 49.6

Science 2008               74.6             46.5

Science 2009               69.5             43

Science 2010               79                45.5

Science 2011               79.6             47.2

Reading 2008               80.3             45.5

Reading 2009               72.4             47.5

Reading 2010               78.7             45.9

Reading 2011               82.1              44.8

Writing 2008                90.4             57.9

Writing 2009                84                55

Writing 2010                90.8             59.6

Writing 2011                91.9             61.3

Do you think the CAPT scores are a good representation of Region 9's achievements? Leave your comments below.

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