I received my daughter’s Connecticut Mastery Test scores a week or so ago and I was appalled by what I read. She is in the third grade at Seth Haley. The school’s average results for math, reading, or writing for the third grade do not meet the goals set forth by the state! The West Haven district’s average barely makes the goal in math and writing, but does not do so in reading.
Before sitting down to write an angry rant, I thought I should look at the CMT web site (http://solutions1.emetric.net/cmtpublic/Index.aspx) and the presentation given to the Board of Education members (http://www.whschools.org/page.cfm?p=5383) to see what is going on across the board for grades 3 through 8. I urge you to look at both these sites. Unfortunately, unless you are a statistician, it is not easy reading.
Overall, the schools in West Haven did worse this year than last year! Reviewing the data for grades 3 through 8, the Average Scale Scores for math, reading, and writing have gone down in 12 out of 18 categories. If the majority (65%) of our tax dollars is going toward education, why are our scores not better than this? What is going on?
School officials blame the poor, minority students that do not speak English for dragging down the averages. Of course, they don’t use those exact words. They say these are the “challenges” the school district faces. How about thinking of it as an “opportunity” to teach? If the model isn’t working – and the research shows it isn’t – it is time to look at new ways to teach these students.
I have been told that School Superintendent Neal Cavallaro’s contract has expired and that he has not had a performance review by the Board of Education in two years. He makes $168,000 a year. Why is there no accountability for poor performance?
Our children deserve better. Parents should attend BOE meetings and ask why West Haven schools have failed to make adequate yearly progress. The next BOE meeting is Monday, October 3, at City Hall, Second Floor, Harriet North Room. The public speaking portion begins at 7pm.
I will be attending because I have more questions than I have answers. I hope you will attend, too.