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NPS tops state cities in NextGEN results – third consecutive year

A screengrab from the State Department of Education website.

Updated, 2:06 p.m.: Comment from Norwalk Public Schools.

NORWALK, Conn. – Here’s a familiar statement: Norwalk Public Schools has ranked first in its District Reference Group (DRG) in the Next Generation Accountability report.

The State Department of Education released 2018-19 Next Gen results Thursday, so this is new information: Again, NPS is on top of its DRG. For the third year in a row.

NPS has also surpassed the state index. Again, for the third year in a row. However, there are two Schools of Distinction this year and last year there were four. And NPS’ accountability index is slightly lower than last year.

NPS Communications Director Brenda Wilcox Williams on Friday released a statement:

“We just received the results as well so it will take us some time to review and analyze in detail.
“However, we’re very pleased that our Accountability Index of 75.6% means Norwalk is once again the highest performing city school district in the state, for the third year in a row. This result accomplishes a key piece of the Board of Ed’s vision for our schools, as outlined in the district’s Strategic Operating Plan.
“The district will make a full public report to the Board at its workshop meeting on March 3.”

“Connecticut’s accountability system takes a comprehensive view of school and district performance based on a broad set of 12 indicators. These indicators include academic achievement, academic growth, chronic absenteeism, college and career readiness, high school graduation, physical fitness and access to the arts,” a state press release said.

The accountability index is the total percentage of points earned on all possible indicators.

Here’s three years’ worth of Norwalk accountability index scores:

  • 2016-17: 76.9%
  • 2017-18: 76.8%
  • 2018-19: 75.6%

 

And here’s the state:

  • 2016-17: 73.2%
  • 2017-18: 74.9%
  • 2018-19: 74.2%

 

 

The 2018-19 accountability index scores for District Reference Group (DRG) H. “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.

The state recognized 162 schools as Schools of Distinction for “high overall performance, high academic growth, and/or improvement in overall performance.”

Tracey Elementary and Marvin Elementary were named as Schools of Distinction.

Last year, Kendall, Jefferson, Rowayton and Tracey received the honor. Kendall, Jefferson and Rowayton were recognized for growth, a feat that’s difficult to repeat, Norwalk Superintendent of Schools Steven Adamowski said last year.

Marvin was recognized in 2018-19 because of its math growth.

Its math performance index scores went up:

For all students

  • 2017-18: 63.2
  • 2018-19: 68.4

For high needs students

  • 2017-18: 58.1
  • 2018-19: 64.9

And check this out:

Math Academic Growth – All Students

  • 2017-18: 66.3%
  • 2018-19: 85.5%

Math Academic Growth – High Needs Students

  • 2017-18: 61.2%
  • 2018-19: 89.4%

Marvin’s accountability index was 77.7% in 2017-18. In 2018-19, it was 83.3. Its a Category 2 school in 2017-18 and 2018-19.

Tracey was also recognized for math scores. Its’ math performance index scores:

For all students

  • 2017-18: 62.6
  • 2018-19: 62.9

For high needs students

  • 2017-18: 59.7
  • 2018-19: 60.6

And:

Math Academic Growth – All Students

  • 2017-18: 91.7%
  • 2018-19: 83.2%

Math Academic Growth – High Needs Students

  • 2017-18: 94%
  • 2018-19: 81.9%

Tracey was a Category 1 school in 2017-18 and is a Category 2 school in 2018-19.

 

 

Other indicators

“For the first time, school and district grades will now factor in how effectively they are helping non-English speakers learn the language. This component will account for 10% of each elementary school’s grade,” the Connecticut Mirror reports.

Norwalk was well above state average in this category.

  • Progress toward English proficiency – literacy: Norwalk 68.4%; State 60%
  • Progress toward English proficiency – oral: Norwalk 60.1%; State 52.1%

 

Norwalk stayed in the same ballpark on numerous indicators:

ELA Performance Index – All Students

  • 2017-18: 65
  • 2018-19: 65

 

ELA Performance Index – High Needs Students

  • 2017-18: 59.4
  • 2018-19: 59.3

 

Math Performance Index – All Students

  • 2017-18: 60.8
  • 2018-19: 60.7

 

Math Performance Index – High Needs Students

  • 2017-18: 55.1
  • 2018-19: 54.9

 

ELA Academic Growth – All Students

  • 2017-18: 58.8%
  • 2018-19: 60.4%

 

ELA Academic Growth – High Needs Students

  • 2017-18: 57.4%
  • 2018-19: 57.3%

 

Math Academic Growth – All Students

  • 2017-18: 58.8%
  • 2018-19: 60.9%

 

Chronic Absenteeism – All Students

  • 2017-18: 10.6%
  • 2018-19: 10.3%

 

Chronic Absenteeism – High Needs Students

  • 2017-18: 13.5%
  • 2018-19: 12.5%

 

Preparation for CCR – Percent Taking Courses

  • 2017-18: 85.5%
  • 2018-19: 87.6%

 

Preparation for CCR – Percent Passing Exams

  • 2017-18: 37.3%
  • 2018-19: 37%

 

On-track to High School Graduation

  • 2017-18: 88.2%
  • 2018-19: 91.7%

 

4-year Graduation: All Students

  • 2017-18 (2017 Cohort): 93%
  • 2018-19 (2018 Cohort): 91.6%

 

6-year Graduation: High Needs Students

  • 2017-18 (2015 Cohort): 87.9%
  • 2018-19 (2016 Cohort): 90.5%

 

Postsecondary Entrance

  • 2017-18 (Graduating Class 2017): 69.8%
  • 2018-19 (Graduating Class 2018): 66%

 

 

Physical Fitness

  • 2017-18: 57.1%
  • 2018-19: 51%

 

Arts Access

  • 2017-18: 55.1%
  • 2018-19: 64.9%

 

 

 

Connecticut implemented its Next Generation Accountability System four years ago beginning with the 2015-16 school year, the State said. The state’s overall accountability index increased from 73.1 in 2015-16 to 74.2 in 2018-19.

“We are encouraged to see improvement in several indicators since we first began using the Next Generation Accountability System in 2015-16.  We are especially pleased by the more than 5 percent growth in CCR. This bodes well as we position our PreK-12 system to be more responsive to the college and career pathways currently needed in our state,” Desi Nesmith, Deputy Education Commissioner of Academics and Innovation, is quoted as saying.

“We are seeing signs that we are moving in the right direction when it comes to ensuring equitable outcomes for all of our students with the improvement among students with high needs outpacing state average improvement in both ELA and math. The six-year graduation rate for students with high needs is at its highest ever demonstrating that with extra time and support some of our most vulnerable students are able to persist and successfully complete high school,” Nesmith is quoted as saying. “As an agency, we remain focused on working with our district and school partners to provide support and technical assistance when it comes to developing and implementing a strong academic core with high quality curriculum and systems that lead to every student achieving at high levels.”

4 comments

MarjorieM January 31, 2020 at 7:57 pm

Is it just me, or do you see some significant test scores going in the downward direction instead of up? All this hype about great scores doesn’t make sense. Was it worth the millions poured into the school system?

John ONeill February 1, 2020 at 1:00 pm

Can someone explain these numbers to us? These numbers don’t seem to make sense. Kendall School, for instance, looks very high versus what I understand is going on there. Maybe I’m wrong, and will be happy if I am.

Concerned February 3, 2020 at 7:26 pm

John, you are not incorrect. It seems like Adamowski and the Kendall admins have their own agenda. Hopefully, more media outlets and journalists will calm them out and start asking these questions!

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