NPS SAT ‘small gains’ touted as being against CT trend

A compilation of statistics provided by CTMirror.org

Updated, 8:30 p.m.: Headline changed.

NORWALK, Conn. — Norwalk Public Schools is one of the few districts in the state that had a gain in its SAT scores this year, according to NPS Communications Director Brenda Wilcox Williams.

The state on Monday released SAT scores, multiple news outlets say. “While the state went down slightly, our students posted small gains,” Wilcox Williams wrote, providing this chart:

                17-18     18-19

ELA         489         493        +4

Math       478         480         +2


“The results are modest but significant, because it’s the first time Norwalk SAT results have gone up since the inception of the universal SAT requirement in the Next Gen Accountability Plan,” she wrote.

State officials in 2015 decided to have every high school junior take the SATs instead of the controversial Smarter Balanced Assessment, CTMirror.org reports.

The average math score statewide this year was 501 points, according to the Mirror. The average English score was 515.

“Students are considered college- and career-ready if they score at least 530 out of 800 points on the math portion of the exam,” the Mirror reports. “…The threshold for students to be college or career ready for English is 480 points.”

A previous Mirror story lists 2015-16 and 2016-17 results. Adding those to the results provided by Wilcox Williams, you get these scores for Norwalk:

Average math score

  • 2015-16:  482
  • 2016-17: 485
  • 2017-18: 478
  • 2018-19: 480


Average English score

  • 2015-16:  499
  • 2016-17: 502
  • 2017-18: 489
  • 2018-19: 493



“The results released today also mean that NPS has met the 2018-19 Priority Outcome under the Strategic Operating Plan to increase the average Norwalk SAT scores of 11th graders,” Wilcox Williams wrote.

“While there is modest progress, there’s also more work to be done,” she said. “As you know, we have made a lot of recent improvements and enhancements to our high school program of studies. In 2020, our first cohort of 11th grade students on track to graduate with 25 credits and a capstone will take the SAT.”

NPS in 2018-19 expanded its high school program, increasing the requirement for graduation to 25 credits, including requirement for a capstone project to count as the 26th credit. This was done to address the contradiction of an above average graduation rate but below average SAT scores.

A compilation of statistics provided by CTMirror.org


April G. August 6, 2019 at 7:15 am

This headline is exceedingly misleading. What the results say is ” “While the state went down slightly, our students posted small gains,” Wilcox Williams” but your headline makes it seem as though Norwalk somehow leads the pack with (overall) SAT scores. Norwalk increased their gains SLIGHLTY while other towns (who still are markedly far ahead of Norwalk) either stayed the same or didn’t improve. Norwalk still has a long way to go.

John Levin August 6, 2019 at 9:53 pm

Wow. I’m blown away by the stunning inequity of these school districts. If you’re in a poor town, your children are screwed. Maybe it’s time to desegregate public schools in Connecticut?

Ann August 7, 2019 at 7:04 am

This is just Adamowski spin doctoring. What he should have pointed out is that this is an average and ALL 11th graders take this test. Keep in mind Norwalk has students that are new to the country and have limited English skills that are in these numbers. Our Lily white neighbors have less diversity. If you want to really compare numbers we should compare subgroup populations to the same populations in other towns.

Non Partisan August 7, 2019 at 7:51 am

@ john- maybe it’s time for Norwalk to stop its love affair with subsidized housing?

And then end it’s sanctuary city policies?

And then endorse zoninging and rid itself of illegal apartments and occupancy issues.

How would that impact test scores?

April G. August 7, 2019 at 8:59 am

Ann-Those comparisons are noted in the chart. East Hartford, Danbury, Bridgeport, West Haven are all present for review and are similar to Norwalk in many respects. No one seems to be spinning anything-they said there was a a tiny uptick in scores for Norwalk (which there was) compared to the rest of the state and there was.

MarjorieM August 7, 2019 at 4:23 pm

Am I reading this correctly when I see that in 2016, 58.8% of our students were college ready and in 2019 only 53.3% of our students are college ready? And this is after millions and millions of dollars were poured into the budget? If this is true, this administration and BoE is far worse than the administrators they got rid of.

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