McKersie calls test scores “a mixed bag,” achievement gap grows

Greenwich’s final time taking the state Connecticut Mastery Test (CMT) and Connecticut Academic Performance Test (CAPT) resulted in what Superintendent of Schools William McKersie called “a mixed bag” on Tuesday.

While the town was able to perform above state trends on both tests, which showed decreased scores throughout Connecticut in reading, writing, math and science, there is evidence in Greenwich of a re-widening achievement gap with students in the free and reduced lunch program scoring lower than students not in the program after four years of evidence it had been slowly closing.

“All of us in the district are not happy with that,” Dr. McKersie said at a press briefing Tuesday afternoon. “We have to figure out what’s going on with that.”

However, what is causing the achievement gap to widen isn’t immediately clear, according to Dr. McKersie. He said that will take analysis of the data, which was only officially released on Tuesday after being in the hands of the district since Friday, more than a month after it was originally supposed to be released by the state. The analysis is only beginning and Dr. McKersie said there was a lot of consternation statewide about dropping scores throughout Connecticut.

“It’s too early for us to figure out why we did drop where we did drop,” Dr. McKersie said. “We’ve got to delve into this and try and understand what is happening.”

The state released the results about six weeks later than normal and the district is beginning analysis already before a presentation next month before the Board of Education. The Greenwich District Data Team met on this Tuesday morning and will be speaking to the board about what progress was made in 2012-13 as well as what “mid-course corrections” should be taken for the 2013-14 and 2014-15 action plans. Individual school data teams will also be meeting on these results and the Board of Education is scheduled to take it up at a work session on Sept. 19.

Further coverage will appear in the Aug. 15 edition of the Greenwich Post and online here at


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