In a , one regular Wilton Patch commenter, “ETP,” chimed in on a completely unrelated topic, saying: “That's nice, but why are academic scores falling?”
This comment isn’t new, and the question of standardized-test-score-achievement pops up often (especially during budget time); heck, even testing season is months away. But it’s never to early to investigate an interesting question. So is it true, are Wilton schools showing a decline in test scores? And how important is standardized testing?
In 2010, Wilton scored 575 in reading (a 10 point decrease from 2009), 593 in writing (a four point decrease from 2009) and 600 in math (a decline of three points from 2009), according to a Power Point document found on the school’s website. A recent report by the Wilton Bulletin shows the average 2011 Wilton SAT scores as 598 in reading, 597 in math and 610 in writing.
Comparing the 2010 and 2011 SAT scores, Wilton students scored higher this year in every subject but math, where they fell by just three points. And while Wilton’s 2011 SAT scores did dip in mathematics, our entire country showed a recent decline in SAT averages, according to a New York Times article published on Sept. 15.
Wilton students ranked in the compared to the rest of Connecticut.
The 2011 Connecticut Mastery Tests (CMTs), taken by grades 3-7, , although the scores by far outranked state averages. It’s also important to note that sixth graders showed a score increase in all disciples, and other grades showed increases in certain subjects—such as a 2.2 percent jump in math by third graders—as well.
Do test scores matter?
And in June, . Commenting on that achievement, the Board of Education re-stated that, “In reality, it is impossible to know which high schools are "the best" in the nation. The determination of the relative quality of education offered at a school is ideally based on many different measures, including students' overall academic accomplishments, the ‘habits of mind’ they develop through their school experiences and their subsequent performance in college. Such an investigation into quality should also take into consideration the unique needs of the communities they serve.”
There’s also the Board of Ed’s budget, which clocked in at about $73.5 million for the 2011/2012 fiscal year. That might seem , for families looking for a house between $600,000 and $800,000 bang-for-your buck place to live in America because of its school system, which they rank as 88.48.
As it stands, Wilton’s test scores appear to be going strong, despite some yearly fluctuations which are inevitable. But how much do these scores matter? You read what the Board thinks; what do you think?