While we’ve discussed the CMT and CAPT results in Connecticut’s urban districts, there’s also a story to be told about achievement in the suburbs. We wanted to give a shout out to some suburban districts that saw increased achievement scores for both low-income students and their peers, alongside a narrowing of the achievement gap.

Glastonbury lowers the achievement gap in elementary and middle school

Glastonbury stands out as one of the major success stories in this year’s CMT data. In the past, Glastonbury has had one of the highest achievement gaps in Connecticut but this year the district has made encouraging strides towards closing the gap in both elementary and middle school.

The greatest gains have been made in 3rd grade math. The percentage of low-income students who reached “Goal” levels increased by almost 10 percentage points to 57.1%!  Their non-low-income students made modest gains as well. The same types of improvements can be seen in 3rd grade reading. This means that Glastonbury third graders improved across the board, while the achievement gap was also narrowed.

Simsbury’s high school students show promising gains

Simsbury made exemplary academic progress on the Connecticut Academic Performance Test (CAPT), especially for low-income students.  From 2012, the percentage of low-income students who tested at goal levels in math increased by 13.2 percentage points to over 50%. Because of this, their achievement gap has narrowed significantly.  Reading proficiency has also increased for all subgroups of students.

Two steps forward, One step back

Unfortunately, not all news out of the suburbs is good. There have also been academic losses in some towns.  Low income elementary school students have seen some alarming drops in proficiency—sometimes up to almost 30 percentage points.  Other districts have closed the achievement gap only because non-low-income students have seen greater losses than low-income students.

As with many of this year’s scores, there have been some bright spots and some bumps along the way in the suburbs.  Successes like the ones outlined above show that real progress can be made towards providing a quality education for every student regardless of circumstance.  Despite ongoing struggles, if we work together, we can close the achievement gap.