East Haven Test Scores Lag Behind State

Compared to the rest of the state, test results show East Haven falling behind.

The results from the 2011 Connecticut Academic Performance Test are in, and while the state improved as a whole, East Haven did not. Some scores for East Haven tenth graders declined from the previous year and are well below the state average in all but one category.

Only 30.7 percent of East Haven students reached the state’s goal in the mandated test, a decline of 2.5 percent from the previous year. Throughout Connecticut, half reached the goal. In science and reading, less than 30 percent of the students tested as high as the goal. Statewide, at least 44 percent of students reached the goal.

The one area where East Haven performed comparatively well was reading. Ninety-one percent of students were deemed proficient, besting the state average of 88 percent. Still, the students reaching the state goal was 55.6 percent, five points lower than the state average.  

The silver lining is that the numbers of “proficient” East Haven students in math, science and reading were comparable – albeit lower – than the state average. The threshold for being proficient is lower than reaching the state goal. On a scale of one to five, proficient is a three.

The Connecticut Department of Education offered tempered enthusiasm about the statewide results.

“The overall trend of increasing percentages of Grade 10 students scoring at the Proficient and Goal levels in mathematics and writing is encouraging, given that Connecticut is also decreasing high school drop-out rates and increasing graduation rates,” Acting Commissioner George Coleman said in a statement. “However, the magnitude of the increases and the relatively flat performance in reading and science is disconcerting, given the urgency that I feel about preparing all of our high school graduates to be ready to succeed as they enter college or the state’s workforce.”

EHVoiceofReason July 12, 2011 at 05:34 PM
This is pathetic! The BOE should focus on the students and the curriculum in order achieve higher test results, rather than fight with each other and the staff over every issue on the agenda. They have lost focus, there are too many taking directions from the outside (administration), and too many egos at play. Leave your egos at the door, and focus on the education!!
Michelle Petroccio July 12, 2011 at 05:48 PM
Being an East Haven parent of four children in the school system who are all high scholastic achievers Outsdider Looking In, the fault does not rest on the laurels of the BOE, it comes from home, and how active parents are or are not in the futures of their children and the education they receive. Far too many parents in this town and other twons as well simply do not take the time to keep in touch with educators and follow up on grades and/or conferences and keeping up with the guidance department at the school.There is a relaxed atmosphere here where some parents rely soley on teachers and kids to make it through, because they are either too busy with their own agendas or simply think 'coasting" through school is fine. Parental involvement is a major key to every child's academic success, and knowing this, they should step up to the plate. I know my kids are future leaders, and I have no problem with East Haven's schools or the BOE!
Michelle Petroccio July 12, 2011 at 06:33 PM
I did not grow up here either. Unfortunately, none of us can control this educational destiny, we can only drive our children in what we perceive as parents to be the right direction and hope that more parents will follow their kids' educations and help to steer them appropriately. Most of EH's teachers are fabulous, there are a few who probably should have taken early retirement, and tenure shouldn't have been a consideration for a few who shall remain nameless here.I agree that librarians should not have been part of budget cuts. Perhaps a proposition to the BOE for volunteer parents to fill those voided positions would be a step in the right direction. This fall, I will have 3 children at the middle school, and my eldest in his 3rd year at EHHS. Fortunate for me, they enjoy using the public library. My youngest has just stepped up from the elementary level, and I must admit, I feel old enough to have been a parent to some of those parents. I agree that some of the younger parents don't dress appropriately, this is something we can't control. My philosophy is 'to each their own', and as long as my family and children aren't affected, and I do what I need to do as a parent, my kids will turn out more than just fine. Best of luck to you. The principal at Deer Run, Bill Grimm is an amazing educator, and really is very involved with his students. The teachers that I have met from that school aslo have my highest regards.
clint July 12, 2011 at 08:13 PM
North Haven scored impressively on this year's Connecticut Academic Performance Test (CAPT), beating state averages in each of the exam's four subject areasThe only thing that changes in staven are the names!!!
Jackie Sargent July 13, 2011 at 11:05 AM
Michelle, I do not agree with you. Granted, there are parents that don't get involved, but the ones with children that aren't "brains" and are involved are in a losing battle. I love my town, but I despise the educational system. That's why I put my child in the magnet schools when she was in High School. She was an ADHD child. When she was in the middle school, she attended 6th grade in East Haven Middle. Then I took her out. I had gone through fights, problems, etc. with teachers in the Middle school about getting extra help for my child and it ended with me giving up and putting her somewhere where they cared about her education, not about her tapping her foot because of ADHD and winding up with detentions because of it. I put her in an independent school in Branford. EH said she was a C+ student in Math. The other school tested her as 3rd grade math level when she got there for 7th grade. She flourished in this school because they didn't care if she was sitting on the floor or tapping her foot. They still taught her. I'm sorry, but East Haven's educational system sucks big time. I have a toddler now, and believe me, he's NOT going to EH Middle or High school either.
Jackie Sargent July 13, 2011 at 11:15 AM
To add to my comments: I'm not saying no one in these schools learn, but unless you are already very proficient, have no issues or learning disabilities, you may be ok. But again, the kids with the top grades are only as good as EH educational system. When they leave there, they will find it very different than those who are in college with them from schools that have a better curriculum. My sister was an honor student when we were in High School. When she got to college, she felt like the bottom of the barrel because others had learned more in their high schools.
Jackie Sargent July 13, 2011 at 11:27 AM
To Outsider: I totally agree with you on the appalling way some of these parents act, dress and speak. I'm embarrassed when I see this because it just perpetuates the "Staven guinea" profile others judge us as. Now, some of these young mothers think they are people from Jersey Shore and actually admire this crap. If I dressed, talked or acted that way, EVEN AT THE AGE OF 42, my mom would Still slap my face!
EHmom July 13, 2011 at 01:40 PM
The thing I find amusing is that most of the parents described as acting like "Staven guineas" are not even Italian and I can say that because I had children in Deer Run and I know exactly what you are talking about! I am full Italian (AND PROUD OF IT!), lived here all my life and I don't even know of any Italians (adults or kids) who act/dress like that. And I suggest Outsider Looking In move "one town north" - I'm sure there's trailer park with a vacancy...
EHmom July 13, 2011 at 02:00 PM
Hmmm...several college degrees yet you still choose to live in a town where you obviously feel the majority of its citizens are beneath you??? And spewing insults when you're called out on it (funny, but I happen to remember people saying EH girls were beautiful - not "easy"). As I said, there's got to be a vacancy sign blinking somewhere up Route 1...
Rosie July 13, 2011 at 02:01 PM
You are being very rude. You can certainly tell you are an "outsider". I was raised in EH, went to school here and was a straight A student. And I can tell you, sir, I was certainly not "easy". I am also a very successful member of society. I stayed in EH to raise my children, whom also went to EH schools, and they also are very successful. And that is because their father and I made sure they were. And no we don't want "your type" here in EH, not because of any image, but because you apparently think that living here is beneath you. Why don't you move to another snooty town, seeing you are so accomplished. On the subject: School is what you make of it. If you want to skate by, you can. If you want to strive to be the best, you can. Education is a partnership between school, parent and student. Parents need to push their children, and need to get involved more if they feel they are not living up to their potential. Most teachers in this district are very dedicated. If you feel your child is not being motivated, get involved!
Lisa July 13, 2011 at 02:05 PM
I have two children. For each orientation I went to, especially the high school one, we were told how great the high school was, how the children would be prepared for the future, etc. However, my child was not sure if she wanted to go to college right away - then, the career development person was laid off. She received no guidance from the school whatsoever. It would take days to get ahold of or a meeting with the actual counselor. My other child is going to an out of town technical school. I agree that parental AND child AND teacher involvement is crucial. But the actual teaching is the teacher's job. I don't need to work all day and then come home and do more work because the teachers want parental involvement. The follow-up and follow-through is the parent and child's job. Even though I have always worked full time, I always went to conferences, important school events, made sure the teachers knew that they could reach me anytime. As far as dress, I have been embarrassed for some of the children for what their parents wore, gum smacking, etc.
Jackie Sargent July 13, 2011 at 02:07 PM
EH Mom, looks like your eyes are closed then. There are CERTAINLY plenty of teens and even moms out there acting foolishly and like ignorant loud mouths. I've lived here my whole life too. I'm part Italian and my entire family embraces the Italian heritage but you cannot deny that some are surely making the rest of us look ridiculous. That being said, there is no reason to get defensive because someone is pointing out FACTS about another town's successful educational system. Maybe EH should try to see what they are doing right instead of trying to do it "their way". It's not worked since I was in High School and it's not working now.
Rosie July 13, 2011 at 02:17 PM
Lisa, you are correct. Trying to get anyone at the high school to respond to you is near impossible. It is a shame that these kids have absolutely no guidance at this very important level. And you are also correct, it is the teachers job to teach. I have never been a fan of hours of homework, learning should be in school. What I meant by parental involvement is getting to know your child's teachers, calling over and over if need be to get answers, and staying on top of it. Check your child's work, check their grades. When my child has struggled, I email the teacher weekly to keep on top of progress. Some parents just send their kids off to school each day, and never even check how they are doing in school.
Jackie Sargent July 13, 2011 at 02:20 PM
Same here Lisa. I went to every single conference, meeting, etc. I initiated my own meetings and follow ups and most of the teachers saw me as a pain in the ass because I was trying to keep on top my my daughters educational needs. I also would get blown off, eyes rolled at and no call backs. They pile on the homework now because they don't do what they're supposed to in the school day. They spend weeks not doing schoolwork, but learning how to TAKE the CAPT tests. I was outraged by this. LEARNING HOW TO TAKE THE TEST, not LEARNING the stuff in class TO pass the test. This is total BS.
Rosie July 13, 2011 at 02:21 PM
EH should definately get away from textbooks, and do more hands on, holistic kind of teaching like other districts have. Learn by doing, that should be the mantra. I now there are many naysayers of EH Academy, but their style of teaching works. More than 1/2 of the 7th and 8th grade students there made honors.
Jackie Sargent July 13, 2011 at 02:27 PM
Rosie, there's the issue right there. There is a school in EH that works, but yet, the rest of the schools don't follow suit. You have to be a high achiever to get in just to get a chance at a good education. Totally unfair. If The Academy is doing it right, then what the hell is the BOE thinking by not making the rest of the schools consistent? Stupid.
Anthony Karge July 13, 2011 at 02:27 PM
The Connecticut Mastery Test scores for grades 3-8 will likely be released today. Look for a story later.
Lisa July 13, 2011 at 02:29 PM
Thank you for the support Jackie & Rosie...here's my personal favorite: professional development days. I think last year there was one right after school started. This should be done during winter/spring/summer vacations, not at the expense of the kids. I agree about the "learning how to take CAPT" too. Ridiculous. I'm sure teachers thought I was a pain too. They want involvement, then they don't call or email you.
EHVoiceofReason July 13, 2011 at 02:37 PM
I, too, agree that education is a partnership (student, parent, teachers), but MY JOB is not to develop and teach the curriculum. I do what I can at home w/my child, however, the BOE, Superintendent, teachers, etc. are responsible for developing a curriculum that fosters learning and helps achieve RESULTS on the CAPT tests. We are spending A LOT of money on the "administration" in this school system, and it doesn't appear that results are being achieved. We are spending A LOT of money on education in East Haven and we need to see results. If there are teachers that aren't cutting it, we need to CUT THEM. We need motivated teachers, willing to teach rather than show up. I'm not saying we have a lot of teachers like this, but I just don't know how you can explain these CAPT results without looking at the teaching practices here.
Jackie Sargent July 13, 2011 at 02:37 PM
Even though the technology was there at the time My kid was in 6th grade (2001), they still wouldn't use email to contact me. I'm hoping it will be easier with my new one (16 mos old) when he goes to school.
Rosie July 13, 2011 at 02:44 PM
You are right, Jackie! We have a school that works, yet there are so many against it, including certain BOE members who have been very vocal about it. All schools should be styled after EH Academy. It is now a lottery schoold, similar to NH magnets, with no testing involved, just the luck of the draw. I will be interested in the CMT scores, to hopefully shut up all the naysayers, who think that only the highest academic students get in. If the CMT scores are high, then the BOE and the superintendent would be crazy not to model every school after this one. Let's see what happens...
Jackie Sargent July 13, 2011 at 02:53 PM
Good to know Rosie! I was so upset when they first opened this school. They said it was for "gifted and talented" children. My daughter was a singer and actress, so I thought this would qualify her, but she was very bad in math (thanks to EH). I am also very bad in math (thanks to EH, I graduated 12th grade with only basic math, no algebra either!), so she failed to get in based on her scores. I almost dropped her out of school because I hated the Middle school that much. I wound up getting financial aid for Whightwood School in Bfd, but we were dirt poor the entire time. It was worth it though.
EHmom July 13, 2011 at 03:33 PM
Jackie: My eyes are wide open. Of course there are teens and moms acting foolishly, but that is found EVERYWHERE - not just EH- and they are NOT just Italian (have you strolled through Fair Haven lately?) I have a teenage daughter and she doesn't act or dress anything like that (nor do any of her friends) and that is a direct result of good parenting. Outsider's remark about "one town north" was in direct reference to Deer Run parents acting like it was a casting call for the Sopranos - it had nothing to do with facts about Branford's successful educational system. So yes, I do take offense and no, I don't apologize for it.
Jackie Sargent July 13, 2011 at 03:48 PM
EH Mom: I really don't care about Fair Haven or any other town. I care about East Haven and how some of the idiots here just confirm the incorrect portrayal that we are dumb, racist gumba's by the way they act. As far as the particular school your children go to, this is not immune. There are idiot parents there too. Again, I am also Italian, one side of my entire family is Italian. My mom is 1/2 Italian and my husband is 1/2 Italian. I am very proud to be Italian, I just hate seeing Italians and NON Italians acting like the freaking idiots and skanks like on that show Jersey Shore. I hear all the time how EH people are bigots and the women are "easy". This pisses me off to no end, especially when the next generation of morons are just perpetuating it. I didn't say all mom's and all teens act that way. But the ones that do are giving us the bad rap. No one is "pointing out" your kids school specifically, it was the observation of someone who obviously happened to witness this at that school. I can go to any school in town and see morons acting like "the Soprano's" too. And I don't really care or are asking you to apologize for anything. I still stand by my opinion: EH Schools (middle and high) Suck ASS!
Anthony Karge July 13, 2011 at 03:58 PM
http://easthaven.patch.com/articles/young-students-math-scores-plummet Here's a story about the test scores from third to eighth graders. Math scores declined in every grade, while some subjects saw minor improvements.
Rosie July 13, 2011 at 06:19 PM
Hi Anthony, do you have the individual schools scores, or just the district as a whole. I'd like to know which schools scored where. Thank you.
Anthony Karge July 13, 2011 at 06:50 PM
Hi Rosie, unfortunately the state did not release the individual schools but the school districts can be compared and contrasted on this very useful site.
Charlie July 13, 2011 at 07:49 PM
The East Haven school system is a joke. The elementary schools and JMMS stopped teaching basis skills such as long division, penmanship, and cursive writing a long time ago. Students in JMMS are required to use a calculator for everything, including test. They are not taught how to divide 100 by 4 on paper. How are the students expected to do well in the real world when they are not taught basic skills? We are raising kids who cannot make change without a cash register or be able to sign their name in the back of a check. I blame both the BOE for worrying about their own agendas and the parents for not getting involved with their childrens' education.
Lisa July 13, 2011 at 07:57 PM
East Haven wasn't like this 12 years ago when I moved in with my two kids. The current administration has made it was it is today.


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