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Few Grads Give Grades on Joel Barlow High School

EASTON, Conn. – Even though every student dreams of grading their teachers, few former Joel Barlow High School students took the time to complete a survey of their alma mater’s performance.

In July, the Nonpartisan Action for a Better Redding sent out a survey to 200 of the 240 Easton and Redding graduates of Joel Barlow High School’s Class of 2010. Graduates were asked to complete the two-page survey within 30 days. In the time period allotted, only 45 former students, or 23 percent, responded, even though the group said two respondents would be chosen at random to receive $100.

“While I'm pleased that the results were generally positive, they provided only a snapshot of one particular graduating class. It would be helpful if NABR followed up in future years with a similar survey so that more meaningful patterns and trends might emerge,” said Region 9 Board of Education member Chris Hocker.

According to the survey results, 93 percent of those surveyed went on to a four-year college or university and 7 percent went on to either a two-year college or entered the military. Overall, 78 percent said Joel Barlow prepared them for success after high school, 16 percent felt their preparation “was adequate” and 6 percent viewed their preparation “poorly.”

In areas where the high school could improve, the survey found that 30 percent said the school could have provided more electives, 31 percent said time management could have been taught better, 20 percent said study skills should be a priority and 8 percent felt the school could offer more rigorous grading.

A total of 67 percent of those surveyed said they took a math course after high school and found that Joel Barlow prepared them well, while 23 percent found the preparation adequate and 10 percent called the preparation poor.

The school's English program proved popular with the alumni, with 79 percent saying they felt well prepared after high school.

“I think it’s always good to be confirmed of our work and it’s always useful to see how our graduates reflect back upon their time spent here,” Superintendent of Schools Bernard Josefsberg said. It is hard to get a good grasp on the results because of the low number of responses, Josefsberg said.

When asked whether the school plans to continue surveying graduates, Josefsberg said the district has an interest “in collecting our own data” but said the survey provided “some good info, but it was limited by the sample size.”

The full report on the survey is posted on the groups website at www.betterredding.org .

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