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NPS scores top marks in NextGEN – again

NORWALK, Conn. — Norwalk Public Schools has ranked first in its District Reference Group (DRG) in the 2017-18 Next Generation Accountability report, surpassing the state index for the second year in a row.

So said NPS Communications Director Brenda Wilcox Williams in a Friday press release, also touting another significant success: Four Norwalk schools were named as Schools of Distinction by the Connecticut State Department of Education.

“We’re continuing to see tangible results from the investment that Norwalk is making in its schools,” Norwalk Superintendent of Schools Steven Adamowski is quoted as saying. “It’s gratifying to see the hard work of our teachers, staff and students reflected and recognized in these results. While there is always more work to be done, the progress we are seeing under the Board of Education’s Strategic Operating Plan has Norwalk achieving its goal of becoming the most successful city school system in Connecticut.”    

NPS achieved an accountability index score of 76.8 percent, top in its DRG, surpassing the statewide index of 74.9 percent, Wilcox Williams wrote.

“The Connecticut Next Generation Accountability Report is made up of a broad set of 12 indicators that help tell the story of how well a school is preparing its students for success in college, careers and life,” the press release said. “The system is intended to move beyond test scores and graduation rates, providing an overall perspective of district and school performance, and incorporating student growth over time.”

“The DRG classification system is a grouping of local public school districts based on a set of indicators that measure the socioeconomic status of students and their families,” the Connecticut School Finance Project states.

Norwalk is in DRG H:

  • Ansonia
  • Danbury
  • Derby
  • East Hartford
  • Meriden
  • Norwalk
  • Norwich
  • Stamford
  • West Haven

 

The press release states:

“Kendall, Jefferson, Rowayton and Tracey Elementary schools have been recognized this year as Schools of Distinction. Schools of Distinction are recognized by the CSDE for high overall performance, high academic growth, and/or improvement in overall performance.

  • Tracey Elementary was recognized for high performance and high growth for English Language Arts (ELA) and Math for all students, and for high growth in ELA and Math for high needs students.
  • Kendall Elementary was recognized for high growth in ELA for high needs students.
  • Jefferson Elementary recognized for high growth in ELA for high needs students.
  • Rowayton Elementary was recognized for high growth for ELA and math for all students and for high needs students.

 

“The report named Tracey Elementary and the Center for Global Studies to Category 1, the top category.  2017-18 accountability index scores also resulted in several schools moving up to Category 2, including Brookside, Columbus Magnet, Fox Run, Kendall, Naramake and Tracey.

“Brien McMahon High School, named as a Category 4 Focus School last year, advanced into Category 2 for 2017-18.  West Rocks Middle School, also a Focus School last year, rose one category. Norwalk had no schools in Category 4, the lowest category, for 2017-18.

“A full presentation on all 12 indicators of the report will be made at the Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, March 5 at 7 pm at Norwalk City Hall.”

 

6 comments

Piberman February 23, 2019 at 11:01 am

One can never spend too much for public schools. But one can levy truly punishing property taxes to fund our schools. And that’s happening in Norwalk with our decade long Grand List, falling property values (down 10% last year), exodus of long time residents and influx of renters (40% up from 30%) requiring special needs. The usual test for a well functioning community is whether potential new comers will buy homes here and raise families. By that well known test Norwalk is a failing community. And no amount of additional school spending will change that.

Our surrounding towns have among the best schools in the nation. Virtually all their adults have college degrees with intact families many with high end careers. Norwalk has 40% of its adults with college and includes many single parent families with a 10% City poverty rate. No amount of public school funding will produce results comparable with our surrounding towns where virtually every student goes to college. Compared to Norwealk where most grads do not secure college degrees.

The reality is Norwalk matches school salaries with some of America’s wealthiest towns. While our public schools are well funded there are practical limits to narrowing the student performance differentials with the surrounding towns. Falling property values, influx of renters and exodus of long time homeowenrs suggest we’re over spending on our City budget. So lets encourage more renters and encoruage a greater Exodus.

The reality is that most Norwalk school teachers and City employees live outside Norwalk. Maybe they know something about City taxes and school performance. The reality is that fewer and fewer families are retiring here after educating their kids in our schools. That’s not a promising future. Not for homeowners, school teachers, our kids or our City.

Steve Mann February 24, 2019 at 11:44 am

Probably the best reasons for Senator Duff to gain a better understanding of the direction of Norwalk schools before he suggests jeopardizing progress for fiscal concerns.

Lisa H February 24, 2019 at 7:56 pm

This is no small feat and is a direct result of the strong leadership that has been in place over the past 5 years, the BOE and NPS administration, teachers, paras, and school support staff.

The BOE and NPS administration’s development and rollout of the Strategic Operating Plan and the capital improvements (including new schools) has proved successful.

Now is the time for our community to come together and continue to support the work of the BOE and NPS. Not only do the students of NPS benefit, we all do. GREAT INITIATIVES, GREAT JOB!

Aniela Arnone Savona February 24, 2019 at 10:44 pm

For the record, I am a Norwalk teacher and live and raise my kids in Norwalk. It is an amazing diverse community. We work hard and believe in this school system! By the way, I grew up and went to school in our neighboring affluent community in Greenwich. I have chosen Norwalk over my home town and have never had one regret. And yes, I am a home owner and tax payer. Many of my colleagues also work and live and raise their family in Norwalk. We do have a high rental population ,but I have seen many of my students become permanent Norwalk families. They have worked very hard to buy their home in this city. I am proud of the work we are doing and we need to keep pushing forward and funding our city’s future!

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