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East Haven Schools Struggle in State's New Grading System

With the exception of East Haven Academy, all of the district's schools are below the targeted goal for academic achievement, according to the state's new "School Performance Index."

With the exception of The Academy, East Haven Public Schools' standardized testing scores remain well below state targets for academic performance, according to a new rating system developed by the state education department

The Connnecticut Department of Education recently released a database that shows how each school in the state has performed for the last three years based on "an average of student performance in all tested grades and subjects for a given school."

Each school is given an SPI, or Student Performance Index, as measured by the Connecticut Mastery Tests for students in grades 3 to 8 and the CAPT test for 10th graders.

The higher the SPI, the more students are reaching the top level or "goal" of those standardized tests. Schools are then given a goal for the following school year.

East Haven Schools' SPIs

Here's how East Haven Public Schools performed:

School 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 Avg.
2012-13 Goal EAST HAVEN HIGH SCHOOL 69.5 71.5 70.3 70.4 71.9 DOMINICK H FERRARA 70.5 62.3 66.3 66.4 68.2 EAST HAVEN ACADEMY 94.9 89.1 88.1 90.7 Maintain GROVE J TUTTLE SCHOOL 66.4 61.7 62.8 63.6 65.6 JOSEPH MELILLO MIDDLE SCHOOL 71.1 70.6 69.9 70.5 72.0 MOMAUGUIN SCHOOL 66.4 60.9 63.6 63.7 65.7

According to a news release issued by the State Department of Education, the state's target for schools is an 88 on a scale of 1-100.

“The state’s new school accountability and support framework enables more precise, more helpful snapshots of school performance,” Commissioner Stefan Pryor said. “By heralding schools making significant progress and highlighting schools in need of greater support, the system will also help districts and the state focus our efforts where they are needed most.”

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An Alliance District

East Haven School District is also one of the state education department's Alliance Districts, which is made up of the state's 30 lowest-performing school systems.

The Alliance program seeks to provide additional funds to each of the member districts for enhancements and reforms focused on improving student performance.

As part of the program, East Haven Schools is slated to receive some from the state for fiscal 2012-13.

Additionally, East Haven received a supplemental grant that allowed the district to expand its School Readiness preschool program this year.

CMT, CAPT Performance

According to 2011-12 resuts — with the exception of the East Haven Academy, which continues to have strong academic achievement on standardized testing — East Haven Public School scores on both the CMT and CAPT tests remain below the state average in most individual testing areas.

In 2011, three East Haven schools got a reprieve from the state as far as standardized test scores when their No Child Left Behind status was officially reset after not meeting Annual Yearly Progress standards.

Momauguin Elementary School and Joseph Melillo Middle School had their status' reset from "safe harbor" to making "adequate yearly progress."

Last spring, however, the state was granted a waiver by the federal Department for Education regarding meeting certain NCLB requirements.

Lou January 08, 2013 at 12:36 PM
Didn't I just read an article here the other day about how Mr Serio is in the lower income tier for superintendents? Maybe he should read this article! On a side note, my child's school is no safer today than it was before the Newtown disaster. WTF. These are our children!!!!
JJ4 January 08, 2013 at 12:54 PM
Perhaps people should look at the teaching in the Academy NOW!!! All the nonsense about only gifted children in the Academy is just that. There is no denying it now they're doing something right.
April B January 08, 2013 at 01:22 PM
Students with English as a second language. Students from low income homes where the parents may not be educated themselves, have an impact on the learning of those children around them. Teachers have to deal with children who have extreme coping difficulties and other children with moderate learning disabilities. Teachers need assistance in working with such extreme diversity in their classrooms. All children have the right to learn. The classrooms of today are not the classrooms we had as children.
John Gildersleeve January 08, 2013 at 01:44 PM
Actually, if you look at the drop in the Academy scores it tells you what everyone expected. Prior to the lottery, you had a high level. Now you mix in lower scores and look at the drop - almost 7%. By next year a school that was the Blue Ribbon winner will be below the state target. Good Job Board of Ed Members.
Julie Weisberg (Editor) January 08, 2013 at 02:15 PM
Lou: The members of the BOE's policy and bylaws subcommittee did meet last week to review the district's security policies and procedures. So, that ball is rolling. I'll be looking to put together a post updating readers on that soon. Just an FYI.
Joey January 08, 2013 at 02:33 PM
How bout this for an idea. Let's implement the same teaching methods at the Academy to ALL THE SCHOOLS IN THE DISTRICT!!!
Rosie January 08, 2013 at 07:56 PM
Don't know what you are looking at Mr. Gildersleeve, but from where I sit, EHA's scores are still way above the resst of the district. High 80 and 90 percents...pretty good to me. What everyone expected, apparently including you who is an alumni parent, I believe, did NOT happen. The Academy is still going quite strong!! It was a great idea to give everyone an equal opportunity to get the exceptional teaching techniques from the Academy, and obviously, it is still working! As always, GREAT job EHA.

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