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Staples Test Scores Down, Elementary Scores Up

WESTPORT, Conn. – Westport elementary school students improved scores on Connecticut’s standardized tests this year, data released by the state Thursday shows. However, scores decreased at the high school and middle school levels.

The Connecticut Mastery Test (CMT) and Connecticut Academic Performance Test (CAPT) are administered annually in March to students across the state. The CMT tests math, reading and writing for grades three through eight, plus science for grades five and eight. The CAPT is given to high school sophomores and covers math, reading, writing and science. Both have five levels of performance for each subject: below basic, basic, proficient, goal and advanced.

Nearly all—more than 96 percent— of the sophomores who took the 2012 CAPT reached proficiency in all four categories. However, a fewer percentage of students reached goal on the math and reading portions of the test. The data shows that this year, almost 86 percent of test-takers reached goal in math – down from the 90 percent who reached goal last year. In reading, nearly 84 percent of students hit goal this year, which is down from last year’s 87 percent.

There percentage of students who reached goal in writing and science was nearly the same as last year.

At the middle school level, eighth-grade scores declined in all four test categories. The largest decrease was in science, where 87 percent of students reached goal. In 2011, 92 percent of students reached goal. There was a less than 1 percentage point decrease each in math, reading and writing scores.

In seventh-grade, performance on math and reading slipped, but increased in writing. In math, 92 percent performed at goal, 93 percent reached goal in reading and 88 percent reached goal in writing.

At the sixth-grade level, writing scores increased by 5 percentage points, with 90 percent of students reaching goal. But reading scores decreased by more than 4 percentage points with 89 percent hitting goal, versus 93 percent in 2011. There was less than 1 percentage point increase in math scores.

Scores in at the elementary level saw an overall increase. At both the third and fifth-grade levels, student scores in each category improved. In fifth-grade, the largest increase was in writing, where 89 percent of students hit goal compared to 83 percent in 2011.

In fourth-grade, decreases were seen in all categories, with the largest being in writing. This year, 84 percent of kids reached goal in writing, compared to 89 percent last year. In reading, 83 percent reached the goal, versus last year’s 85 percent. Nearly the same amount of students performed at goal in math this year and last.

Finally, in third-grade, scores were improved by more than 5 percentage points across the board. The largest increase was seen in writing, where 83 percent of students achieved goal. Nearly 89 percent of students hit goal in math, and 84 percent performed at goal in reading.

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