Greenwich Hispanic and black students' 2013 state standardized test
scores trailed their white and Asian peers' results by wide margins, a trend
highlighted by foundering performances among Hispanic pupils at the school
district's two racially unbalanced schools.
In every grade and in each of the four subjects tested by the Connecticut Mastery Test, the percentage of black and Hispanic pupils reaching the goal level fell short of rates for white and Asian pupils. Hispanic pupils also lagged well behind Asian and white students in goal-level scores on the Connecticut Academic Performance Test given to 10th-graders. Black students' CAPT results were not available because the state Department of Education does not list score data for testing groups of fewer than 20 pupils.
Stark gaps differentiated white and Asian students' scores from those for blacks and Hispanics in many cases, including the following examples:
In third-grade math, about 89 percent of Asian students and 83 percent of white students reached the goal-level, compared to 62 percent for Hispanic pupils and 38 percent for black students.
In fifth-grade reading, 87 percent of white and Asian pupils hit the goal range, compared to 66 percent for Hispanic pupils and 52 percent for black students.
In seventh-grade writing, 87 percent of Asian students and 84 percent of white students attained goal-level marks, compared to 53 percent for Hispanic pupils and 37 percent for black students.
In CAPT science, 79 percent of white students and 64 percent of Asian pupils scored in the goal range, compared to 44 percent for Hispanic students.
Minority students -- including black, Hispanic, Asian and multiracial pupils -- make up about one-third of the district's population. At Hamilton Avenue and New Lebanon, the district's two racially unbalanced schools, minority pupils account for about 70 percent of the populations.
The new scores illustrate one of the Board of Education's top concerns: the district's achievement gap along socio-economic and racial and ethnic lines. As they continue their review of options to address the racial imbalances at Hamilton Avenue and New Lebanon and building use and enrollment issues in all of the elementary schools, board members have said repeatedly in recent months that they intend to adopt a plan that addresses the school system's longstanding divergences in academic performance.
When asked to comment on the test-score disparities, Board of Education Chairman Leslie Moriarty instead responded Monday with an overview of the board's evaluation of the results. That process will include an in-depth review at the board's Sept. 19 meeting.
"These discussions will include an interpretation of outcomes, implications for current academic strategies and action plans as we look ahead," she said.
No other board members responded Monday to a request from Greenwich Time seeking comment on the test-score differences along racial and ethnic lines.
Students at Hamilton Avenue and New Lebanon especially struggled on the CMTs. The percentage of Hispanic pupils at those two southwest Greenwich schools scoring below the goal level fell short of their group's district average in third-grade math and writing, fourth-grade math and writing and fifth-grade writing and science. Among the Hamilton Avenue and New Lebanon populations, some subject scores in some grades for Hispanic students were not available, and no subject results were available in any grade for black pupils because they did not meet the Department of Education's 20-pupil test group threshold.
In some cases, Hamilton Avenue and New Lebanon students' goal-level rates were also less than state averages for their peer groups. About 35 percent of Hispanic pupils at Hamilton Avenue reached the goal level in third-grade writing compared to 39 percent of Hispanic students statewide. About 44 percent of third-grade white students at Hamilton Avenue scored in the goal range in math, compared to a state average of 74 percent for white pupils. At New Lebanon, 41 percent of fifth-grade Hispanic students hit the goal range in math compared to a state average of 47 percent for Hispanic pupils.
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