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Greenwich Schools Fail To Meet Federal Standards

GREENWICH, Conn. – The Greenwich Public School District did not meet federal requirements under No Child Left Behind in the 2010-11 academic year based on test scores, the Connecticut Department of Education reported Monday.

Hamilton Avenue School failed to reach the act’s adequate yearly progress marker based on its test scores. It was the only elementary school in the district that failed as a whole. Julian Curtiss School, Central Middle School, New Lebanon School, Central Middle School, Western Middle School and Greenwich High School were also cited for failing to meet certain standards.

The Board of Education plans to review these results and will discuss them at its meeting Thursday.

The function of the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 is to close the achievement gap between groups of students by requiring greater accountability of the schools and the district as a whole. States are required to determine annually whether every school and district is making adequate yearly progress toward reaching the goal of having 100 percent of students scoring at or above the proficient level in math and reading on state tests by 2014.

To determine whether Connecticut’s schools and districts have made adequate yearly progress, No Child Left Behind examines three criteria: the percentage of students at or above proficient on math and reading sections of the Connecticut Mastery Test and the Connecticut Academic Performance Test; the participation rate on those tests; and the graduation rate for high schools or the percentage of students at or above the level of “basic” on the writing portion of the CMT for elementary and middle schools. Test scores are based on five levels: below basic, basic, proficient, goal and advanced.

Based on the 2011 CMT and CAPT, the Greenwich schools met criteria for participation rates and on the third academic indicator. However, the district and six schools did not make adequate yearly progress based on the proficiency level scores on math and reading sections of the tests.

For elementary and middle school students, 91 percent are required to reach proficiency in math and 89 percent are required to reach proficiency in reading on the CMT. For high schools, 90 percent of students must reach proficiency in math and 91 percent must reach that level in reading on the CAPT.

The entire school is required to meet these targets, and subgroups of more than 40 students must also reach the targets. Subgroups include students with disabilities and those who are economically disadvantaged as well as Hispanic, Asian, black and white students.

At Hamilton Avenue School, 91 percent of fourth-graders met proficiency in math but only 85 percent of third-graders and 66 percent of fifth-graders. In reading, only 54 percent of fifth-graders, 80 percent of fourth-graders, and 54 percent of fifth-graders met the requirements.

Subgroups of Greenwich High School, Central Middle School, and Western Middle School did not make AYP for reading and math. Julian Curtiss School did not achieve adequate yearly progress for reading across the board and for its economically disadvantaged subgroup. New Lebanon did not meet adequate yearly progress for the second year in a row for reading but is considered in “safe harbor” for showing significant improvement.

Under No Child Left Behind, the district and schools are required to create plans for school improvement and notify parents of the shortfalls. In addition, the district, Hamilton Avenue School, Julian Curtiss School and New Lebanon School must allocate 10 percent of Title I funding for professional development.

To reach Anna Helhoski, email ahelhoski@thedailygreenwich.com and f ollow TheDailyGreenwich.com on Facebook and Twitter !

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