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December 7, 2019
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A snapshot of New Canaan Public Schools students' performance on the Smarter Balanced Assessment.
A snapshot of New Canaan Public Schools students' performance on the Smarter Balanced Assessment.

New Canaan Students Prove They're Smart Thanks To 'Robust Curriculum And Instruction'

New Canaan's "Smarter Balanced Assessment" results are the best in Connecticut.

Jill Correnty, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, presented the New Canaan Public Schools (NCPS) 2019 Student Assessment Results to the Board of Education (BOE) at a BOE meeting held on Oct. 21 at New Canaan High School. 

Correnty reported that this year’s results of the Smarter Balanced Assessment, a state-required test given annually to students in grades 3 through 8, yielded some of the best scoring results to date. The assessment is designed to test students in ELA (English Language Arts), literacy and mathematics. The Connecticut Alternative Assessment is available for students in the same grade range with significant cognitive disabilities.

“These tests provide an annual snapshot of students’ achievement,” said Correnty. “However, they are to be used in conjunction with other district assessments for any educational decisions we make.”

In September, the Connecticut State Department of Education-CSDE released the results of the 2018-19 Smarter Balanced assessment which is the accountability assessment in English Language Arts (ELA) and mathematics for students in Grades 3 through 8. 

These online assessments have been used in the state since 2014-15 and are aligned with Connecticut’s Core Standards. 

In 2018-19, statewide ELA and mathematics achievement increased to their highest levels, according to the CSDE.

As a district, New Canaan Public School earned the highest achievement levels in the state in both ELA and mathematics. 89.6% of students tested met or exceeded achievement levels in ELA, and 88.3% met or exceeded achievement levels in Mathematics. 

"Over the years, New Canaan students have shown growth in English Language Arts and mathematics. We attribute this to our robust curriculum and instruction," said Zoe Robinson, New Canaan Public Schools K-8 Mathematics Coordinator.

Students do not participate in test prep but are encouraged and modeled "good test-taking strategies" with "efforts focused around instructional strategies and content understanding. Teachers give common district assessments and then participate in data teams in order to help plan for instruction. Planning is then targeted to meet the needs of all learners," Robinson said.

Click here for the results of the Smarter Balanced Assessment results in Connecticut by district.