Parents can now see if their child’s school is among the best or worst in the state.
A new website with school-by-school ratings — based on a 100-point scale — was put up by the State Department of Education Thursday afternoon.
As expected, many of the schools in urban districts scored poorly. In fact, 91 percent of the lowest-ranked schools in Connecticut are in the state’s 30 lowest-income districts, Connecticut’s education commissioner told reporters during a conference call.
“There are bright spots and best practices throughout the state,” Commissioner Stefan Pryor said.
The five-tier ratings given out to the state’s 1,300 public schools will be used as “accountability benchmarks” and help education officials make policy decisions.
The lowest-rated schools — also known as “Turnaround Schools” — will be given the opportunity for state and district intervention. These are the schools targeted to become so-called Commissioner Network schools. The districts with “Review” and “Focus” schools will have to work with the education department to plan a strategy to improve, and some state funding will be available to implement reforms.
Each school’s classification is based on a 100-point scale — the school performance index — that factors in a school’s standardized test scores in math, science, reading and writing. High schools’ scores also take into account their graduation rates.
Pryor said these ratings are superior to the previous system used under No Child Left Behind that tracked “Adequate Yearly Progress” and labeled schools “in need of improvement.” The major diffences in this year’s ratings are that student progress across the spectrum is a factor in rating a school, and scores on science tests also count.
Pryor said he hopes to soon include in these ratings more than just how students do on standardized tests. Graduation rates are currently the only non-standardized measure used. “Our goal is to evolve the system,” he said. “By no means do we believe that we have created the final and total picture of school performance.”
See your school’s ranking here.