State test scores make 'significant' jumps - WFSB 3 Connecticut

State test scores make 'significant' jumps

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(WFSB file photo) (WFSB file photo)

Connecticut students performed well on the state's smarter balanced exams last school year.

The state Department of Education announced the results of the tests on Thursday.

Gov. Dannel Malloy planned to discuss the results during a news conference in Hartford Friday.

The Department of Education said overall, the percentage of students meeting or exceeding the achievement standard statewide grew by 3.3 points to 55.7 percent in English language arts and 3.9 points to 44 percent in math.

It was the second time students took the tests.

Education officials said the 2014-2015 academic year test represented the baseline year for the smarter balanced exams. The tests set a new, higher bar for students.

Unlike their predecessors, the CAPT and ACT standardized tests, officials said the new Connecticut core exams are designed to assess critical thinking skills with more complex and difficult questions.

“With record-high graduation rates and now significantly improved scores on the smarter balanced test, our smart investments and commitment to our children are changing lives," Malloy said in a statement. "Every time we raise the bar for our children and set high expectations, they reach it."

Malloy called the results a step in the right direction.

“We need to continue the momentum, and we need to maintain a laser-sharp focus on preparing all children for success in college and the workforce," Malloy said. "The work we’re doing is paying off and we must continue to build on our successes."

Two years ago, the state transitioned to the Connecticut core, which aligned school curriculums, standards and exams across the state. Schools became more oriented toward what officials called a higher level of thinking required for college and career success.

The tests are administered to all public school students in grades 3 through 8.

Students in 11th grade take the SAT as their state exam, which was a change announced by Malloy last year.

Malloy's news conference on the results is set for 10 a.m. at the Connecticut Science Center.

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