[D]ata from a new state report show a gap widening as grades rise, becoming largest at Greenwich High School.
At the high school, the performance gap in English, math and science between high-needs students and their peers is larger than the statewide average gap in each of those subjects.
At two of the town’s three middle schools, Western and Central, the gap in math exceeds the statewide mean.
That is according to a new measure of student achievement released this year by the state Department of Education. Dubbed the Next Generation Accountability Report, it calculates the “performance index rate” of students in the three subjects based on a composite of scores on standardized tests — including the Smarter Balance Assessment, SAT and Connecticut Alternative Assessment, a test for special education students.
It measures the achievement gap in those subjects by subtracting the performance rate of high-needs students — those receiving Free and Reduced Price Lunch, English language learners and special education students — from that of non-high-needs students.
Greenwich school officials have not yet finished their analysis of the state report, released Feb. 28. But they theorized this week that Greenwich High, Central Middle and Western Middle schools’ achievement gaps could be caused by exceptionally strong performance by non-high-needs students at those schools.
Those students at the three schools do outperform state averages in English, math and science by significant margins. In English at all three schools, students are hitting the state’s performance target.
In most — but not all — cases, Greenwich’s free and reduced-price lunch, English-language-learning and special education students are scoring better than the state average of students in those categories.
Greenwich harbors some incredibly bright kids - witness their triumphs in national science competitions, just as one example - plus a bunch of lazy kids who remind me of myself, and students with low IQs, and students from a family environment that doesn't value education, and "special needs" students: call all these latter groups what you like, but they're not destined for MIT. So of course there's a disparity in achievement; what is surprising or bad about that?
You can always dumb down, but you can't fix stupid, and the lazy? We should be left to our own devices, to grow up or not. Life's fair, but your own results may differ.