The official launch of the new education group—The Connecticut Council for Education Reform could not have come at a better time. With the Council’s dedication to significantly closing Connecticut’s achievement gap, the results of the 2011 Connecticut Academic Performance Test (CAPT), given in grade 10, point to the urgency of the issue.

The Council was encouraged by the improvement in the writing performance of Connecticut’s low-income high school students over the last five years—an improvement of more that 10 percentage points in the percent of low-income students writing at or above the goal level. However, according to Shana Kennedy-Salchow, interim Executive Director of the Connecticut Council for Education Reform “the gap between the percent of low-income and non-low-income high school students scoring at or above the goal-level has grown in all four subjects tested (Math, Science, Reading, and Writing), over the last five years.

Figure 1:

Change in Percent At or Above Goal for Low-Income and Non-Low-Income Students

 

 

Math

% Goal + Above

Science

% Goal + Above

Reading

% Goal + Above

Writing

% Goal + Above

 

 

2007

2011

2007

2011

2007

2011

2007

2011

Non-Low-Income

 

54.7

61.5

53.9

59.2

54.3

55.9

61.9

72.6

Low-Income

 

14.4

19.9

13.7

18.2

16.8

16.9

23.4

33.7

Gap in % Goal + Above

 

40.3

41.6

40.2

41.0

37.5

39.0

38.5

38.9

“With these disappointing results, which demonstrate that the achievement gap has actually grown wider for our high school students over the last five years, the time for Governor Malloy to act is now” said Peyton Patterson, Chairman of the Connecticut Council for Education Reform.