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Stamford Sophomores Show Gains on State Tests

STAMFORD, Conn. — The city's 10th-graders made a huge leap in writing and showed solid gains in math and science but only a slight increase in reading, according to results of the 2011 Connecticut Academic Performance Test released Tuesday.

With 52.2 percent of city students reaching the state's goal in writing – 4.4 percent more than a year ago — it was the first time more than half of Stamford's 10th-graders made the state goal.

In writing, 87.3 percent of students scored at or above proficient and made gains in the other three subjects on the CAPTs: reading, math and science.

However, when compared with state averages, Stamford students showed they still have a long way to go – even in writing, their strongest subject.

Though Stamford pupils improved more than those across the state, the percentage of students in the city who met goal and were proficient was still below the state average in each category.

Across Connecticut, an average of 49.6 percent of students reached goal in math, 47.2 percent in science, 44.8 percent in reading and 61.3 percent in writing.

"We've got a long way to go," Acting Superintendent of Schools Winifred Hamilton told the Stamford Advocate on Tuesday. "We've certainly made some significant progress relative to the state — we have a greater percentage-point growth. But we're not satisfied in that we still are not at a level that outperforms the state."

The test scores are split into five performance levels — below basic, basic, proficient, goal and advanced.

A 4.4 percent increase in students who reached goal and 6.4 percent increase in students who scored at, or above, proficient in writing was hailed by Stamford officials as evidence that writing skills continue to improve.

School officials said students also made major gains in math, with an additional 3.2 percent above last year reaching goal and an additional 3.3 percent in science, 0.5 percent in reading.

Across Connecticut, 0.7 percent more students made the goal for math this year, 1.7 percent more in science, 1.1 percent in reading and 1.7 percent in writing.

The overall trend in math and writing scores statewide is encouraging, Acting Education Commissioner George Coleman said in a statement. "However, the magnitude of the increases and the relatively flat performance in reading and science is disconcerting," Coleman said.

The CAPT is administered annually to high school sophomores across Connecticut. Results of the Connecticut Mastery Tests for grades 3-8 will be released by the state Department of Education on Wednesday.

Are you encouraged by the gains shown by Stamford's 10th-graders on the CAPT tests? Leave a comment below.

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