|October 3, 2012CONTACT:
Patrick Riccards, Chief Executive Officer
Office: (203) 772-4017, ext. 15
Mobile: (203) 535-5978
New Study: Connecticut Can Close its Nation-Leading Achievement Gaps by 2020
Innovative New Report from ConnCAN Describes What is Necessary to Close the Gaps on Student Performance, Graduation Rates, and SAT Scores Across State and in Alliance Districts
NEW HAVEN – Today, the Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now (ConnCAN) released The Roadmap, a groundbreaking guide to closing Connecticut’s worst-in-the-nation achievement gaps. The Roadmap offers a student-centered approach to closing the gaps – gaps that up until now seemed virtually impossible to close.
This report focuses on the state’s 30 lowest-performing districts (“Alliance Districts” as identified by the State Department of Education), using CMT/CAPT data, graduation rates, and SAT scores, to determine the exact number of students that need to improve every year. If districts are able accomplish this feat, the achievement gaps will be closed by 2020.
“The thing that distinguishes this report from others is that we’ve moved away from percentages and statistics, and instead zeroed in on what matters most – actual students,” said ConnCAN CEO Patrick Riccards. “This is truly a solution-based approach to confronting our state’s achievement gaps.”
“Statewide, if two out of every 100 kids improve every year from below grade-level to at or above grade-level, we will close our achievement gaps by 2020,” Riccards said. “This year, my daughter started kindergarten in Connecticut public schools. If we follow this roadmap, by the time she starts high school, we should see our state’s achievement gaps gone.”
ConnCAN set target goals for each district:
- 80 percent of all students at or above goal on CMT/CAPT;
- 90 percent high school graduation rate; and
- An average SAT score for all students of 1,550 (out of a total score of 2,400).
“Without taking deliberate and specific actions, at the current rate of progress, it will take nearly 60 years to close Connecticut’s achievement gaps at the elementary and middle school level, and more than 100 years to close the gaps at the high school level,” Riccards said. “But if we take a student-centered approach and focus on the kids in our public schools, we can close the gaps in just eight years. These are ambitious goals, yes, but they are both reasonable and achievable if we commit to it.”
“Let me be clear: we fully acknowledge that moving a low-performing student up to grade level is an incredible challenge that cannot be overstated or underestimated. It takes hard work, creativity, and dedication from all involved,” Riccards said. “We don’t believe this is an easy task, but we do believe that there is nothing more important than ensuring that every Connecticut student – regardless of race, family income, or zip code – succeeds. These numbers offer a compelling pathway for closing the gaps, providing boards of education and superintendents with clear metrics to measure their efforts to provide a great public education to all kids.”
Read The Roadmap here: http://conncan.org/theroadmap
The Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now (ConnCAN) is an advocacy organization building a movement of concerned Connecticut citizens working to create fundamental change in our education system. To learn more, visit: www.conncan.org.