Gov. Malloy: Second Year of Accountability Index Scores Show Widespread Improvement on Most Performance Measures
More Work to do to Close Achievement Gaps, Deliver on Goal of Equity and Excellence for All Connecticut Children
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy and the State Department of Education (SDE) today announced the release of the 2015-16 Next Generation Accountability System results, which for the first time included year-to-year growth in English language arts and math, an important indicator for determining whether the state is making good on its promise of preparing the state’s children for success in the future.
Connecticut improved on almost all indicators in 2015-16 over the previous year, including in math performance, science performance, chronic absenteeism, preparation for college, and career readiness, as measured by the percent taking advanced courses (Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and dual enrollment) and the percent passing the associated exams, percent on track for graduation, the six-year graduation rate for high needs students, and access to the arts.
“These results demonstrate that when we raise the bar for our students and educators, they rise to the challenge,” Governor Malloy said. “Together, we are reaching new heights and making significant progress in our schools. Our new accountability system is more comprehensive and holistic – allowing us to identify and replicate success and target support to the students and schools that need it most. We must continue to be steadfast in our commitment to improve outcomes for all students.”
“Connecticut students are making good progress – I applaud their work and our teachers and educators for their commitment to our young people,” Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman said. “Under the Governor’s leadership, we’ve made historic investments in our schools – investments that are giving Connecticut students a better education and more opportunity for higher education and the workforce.”
Based on the Accountability Index results, the state named 116 schools that have each been identified as a “School of Distinction” for high achievement or high growth, including 15 schools within the state’s Alliance District program. Also Tuesday, SDE released newly designed and more comprehensive Profile and Performance Reports for schools and districts, empowering students and families with detailed information about how a school is performing on a diverse range of measures.
“The new Accountability Index results show encouraging progress being made on multiple performance measures, a sign moving in the right direction toward the goal of equity and excellence for all Connecticut students,” Education Commissioner Dianna R. Wentzell said. “The inclusion of student growth for the first time gives us a more accurate picture of how well we are delivering on our promise to kids. As we celebrate progress being made, we also push with great urgency to accelerate the pace of change for schools that need the most help so that all students in Connecticut can rise to their potential and achieve their goals.”
Launched in March 2016, Connecticut’s Next Generation Accountability System is a set of 12 performance measures, called indicators, designed to give a more comprehensive and holistic picture of how schools and students are performing. This is the second year that schools and districts have received Accountability Index scores under the new system, and the first time that academic growth on state mastery exams was included.
The Next Generation Accountability System is designed to help the state measure school and district success toward the goal of providing every student with a quality education that prepares him or her for success down the road. Each school receives a score calculated using a formula that incorporates the accountability system indicators.
A key feature of the new accountability system is that it separates out data for high-needs subgroups of students. That will give parents, educators, and the public a better idea of how students living in poverty, students who have disabilities, and students learning English are performing in school and how they can be better supported for a path to success.
This year’s release also identifies Schools of Distinction, which are schools that fall into:
- the top ten percent of schools using the Accountability Index score;
- the top ten percent of schools with the highest growth for all students or for the high-needs group (free or reduced price lunch, English language learners, and students in special education); or
- the top ten percent of schools (among those without growth) with improvement in Accountability Index.
To qualify for distinction, a school cannot have high achievement gaps or high graduation rate gaps, and must also meet the participation rate requirements on the state summative assessment.
Among this year’s Schools of Distinction, six of the 62 schools with the highest growth for all students are in Alliance Districts. Fifteen of the 53 schools with the highest growth for high needs students are in Alliance Districts.
“We are pleased to see 15 of our Alliance District schools earning distinction ratings based on growth for all students and high needs students,” Commissioner Wentzell said. “Growth is a key component of our Accountability Index and it is weighted more heavily than achievement in our calculation. We have set ambitious but achievable growth targets, with the goal being that all students should have a path to higher levels of achievement that pave the way for success in college, career, and life.”
Connecticut’s Next Generation Accountability System includes both student achievement on state tests in English Language Arts and math, and matched student cohort growth among an expanded list of indicators that aims to provide a more holistic picture of how schools are performing. Student achievement is a one-time snapshot measurement of a student’s academic performance, an important measure for understanding what a student knows in a subject area. Growth demonstrates the change in that achievement score for the same student over time. It is also important to note that the model expects growth for all students, including students at the highest achievement levels.
Last year, the Accountability Index results were also used to identify Focus and Turnaround schools, which comes with a tiered set of supports and interventions, including support through the Alliance District program, the Commissioner’s Network, and other programs. The state did not identify new Focus and Turnaround schools this year, instead continuing to focus on supports and interventions for schools identified last year.
The 12 Next Generation Accountability System indicators include:
- Academic achievement status measured by state assessments
- Academic growth
- Assessment participation rate
- Chronic absenteeism
- Preparation for post-secondary and career readiness – coursework
- Preparation for postsecondary and career readiness – exams
- Graduation – on track in 9th grade
- Graduation – four year adjusted cohort graduation rate – all students
- Graduation – six year adjusted cohort graduation rate – high needs
- Postsecondary entrance rate – all students (college enrollment)
- Physical fitness
- Arts access
The 2015-16 district and school Profile and Performance Reports will also be available through EdSight.
**On the Web: 2015-16 Next Generation Accountability System results
**On the Web: 2015-16 Schools of Distinction
**On the Web: 2015-16 Growth release and results