Press Releases


94 of 175 Connecticut high schools achieve ‘Adequate Yearly Progress’ under Federal ‘No Child Left Behind’

2003 Statewide CAPT Goal-Level scores rise slightly; At-Proficiency levels dip;1,897 more students assessed as student participation increases sharply

(HARTFORD, CONN.) Ninety-four of the state’s 175 public high schools have achieved the standards for adequate yearly progress (AYP) under the federal No Child Left Behind law (NCLB) based on performance on the 2003 Connecticut Academic Performance Test (CAPT). A total of 81 high schools did not make AYP (see attached list) for a variety of reasons, ranging from overall achievement in math and reading to subgroup participation on one portion of the CAPT.

Meanwhile, just-released statewide results of the 2003 CAPT, which assessed 41,439 tenth graders in Reading, Writing, Math and Science, showed changes in student participation and performance:

  • the overall percentage of students scoring at the state goal level on the 2003 CAPT increased in three academic areas and remained the same in one compared with 2002 (see Table I next page);
  • the percentage of students reaching goal in all four subtests rose to 26.6 percent, compared to less than 12 percent in 1995;
  • the overall percentages of students scoring at proficient or above declined slightly in all four categories; and
  • the overall percentages of students taking the tests increased significantly.

CAPT results are the basis for determining whether high schools have made adequate yearly progress (AYP) under NCLB. A high school must meet the standard on 22 criteria in order to make AYP. These criteria include the CAPT participation rate (95 percent of all students and all six student subgroups must take the standard test or the special education alternative test); the achievement levels of all subgroups and the entire Grade 10 tested population; and the school’s graduation rate. “This is a multifaceted and rigorous set of standards, and we’re very proud of the 94 high schools that met the challenge. It’s a significant achievement,” said State Education Commissioner Dr. Betty J. Sternberg.

“For the schools that didn’t meet all the criteria and have been designated as ‘not making adequate yearly progress (AYP),’ it is absolutely critical to look behind that designation. I believe Connecticut’s citizens are thoughtful enough to see behind the label into the substance, and to support our high schools that need to make changes,” Commissioner Sternberg continued.

“Each high school that did not make AYP must decide how to address the reason or reasons for that situation. If it’s participation, ask, ‘How do we ensure that more of our students take the test?’ If it’s math achievement, ask, ‘How can we improve our math instruction? How can we help our students as they study the math concepts they need to know?’ Answer the questions, make a plan, carry it out.”

Table 1: Statewide Results by Content Area for 2001 and 2002 and 2003*
 CAPT Content Area Percent Tested   Percent Scoring in the Goal Range Percent Scoring at Proficient or Above
 2001 2002 2003 2001 2002 2003 2001 2002 2003
Mathematics   85.9 87.4 92.3 44.6 44.0 45.1 76.9 77.6 74.3
 Science 86.0 89.2 92.3 43.4 43.2 43.2 81.5 80.8 80.7
 Reading Across the Disciplines 86.2 88.5 91.8 42.2 44.8 47.0 77.9 78.9 77.9
Writing Across the Disciplines  84.1 86.7 90.7 48.7 51.0 52.8 81.8 79.8 81.0

*The percentages in this table reflect participation and performance of participants in the standard Grade 10 test only.

“The results of the 2003 CAPT, on which these designations were based, showed some important trends,” Commissioner Sternberg commented. “First, over the past few years the percentage of students reaching the statewide goals on all four of the CAPT subtests rose from 11.8 percent (1995) to 26.6 percent (2003). This shows real progress in the depth and breadth of student achievement statewide. Second, many more students took the test than in 2002 – which means that many more students had their strengths and needs assessed in a detailed way. The higher percentage of students reaching goal on all four subtests is particularly impressive when one considers this increase in the number of test takers. Clearly, our students, teachers and administrators are working harder and it is paying off.”

Percent of Students At or Above State Goal
 Number of Tests 2001 (N=34914) 2002 (N=37105) 2003 (N=38601)
 All Four Tests 22.6  23.7 26.6
Three Tests 12.9 12.7 12.3
Two Tests 13.4 13.7 12.6
One Test 13.7 13.7 12.8
No Tests 37.4 36.1 35.7

Connecticut High Schools that did not make adequate yearly progress

  • 175 - High schools were analyzed of which 16 are Title I
  • 81 - Did not make AYP of which 16 are Title I

Reason for Designation:

  • 5 - Whole school reading and math
  • 20 - Whole school math achievement
  • 1 - Whole school reading
  • 20 - Subgroup math or reading
  • 34 - Did not meet 95% participation
  • 1 - Graduation rate

Concerning those high schools that did not meet AYP, of the 81, six have now been identified for the second consecutive year. As a result, they are identified as “schools in need of improvement.” They are Weaver in Hartford, Harding and Bassick in Bridgeport, and A.I. Prince, E.C. Goodwin and J.M. Wright Regional Vocational-Technical Schools.

Under NCLB, Title I eligible schools which have been identified as “in need of improvement” must offer a choice option to the parents of their students to attend another public school in the district which made AYP or another program such as a school within a school. Four of the six — Weaver and the three vocational-technical schools — are Title I schools. The two non-Title I schools, Harding and Bassick, are not required to offer choice but must develop school improvement plans.

Eli Whitney Regional Vocational-Technical School and the Hyde Leadership School were on the 2002 list of schools that did not make adequate yearly progress. However, the gains they made in one year means that they do not appear on this list in 2003. “This should serve as an example to other schools that if you focus your resources appropriately, and direct energy and effort to the task, you can exceed expectations,” Commissioner Sternberg said. “You can turn things around and get on the list of schools that made adequate yearly progress. The greatest value in this is that students are achieving more.”

The Commissioner also noted that of the 81 schools that did not make adequate yearly progress, 34 –nearly 42 percent—did so because they did not make the federal 95 percent participation standard on the CAPT, either for the whole school or for one or more subgroups. “This is a significant percentage,” Commissioner Sternberg said. “While we have made progress increasing participation, more needs to be done. We’re confident that the efforts being made by Connecticut’s school districts will lead to significant improvement in the spring 2004 administration of the test.”

District CAPT results will not be published in hard copy booklets this year. Instead this data will be available electronically via the Internet at

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Dr. Betty J. Sternberg,

Contact: Tom Murphy 860.713.6525