Connecticut has outlined the goal of 100 percent of its students reaching their individual growth targets by 2030.
The state uses a growth model that asks lower-performing students to make faster progress, and student-level targets are based on historical data for what students at different performance levels have achieved in the past.
While these goals may serve an important purpose in Connecticut, the state’s plan lacks targets for students meeting grade-level standards. ESSA allows states to use academic growth in their accountability system, but it specifically requires states to set achievement goals.
The state mentions an academic performance target in the accountability system section, but without data on past student performance by subgroup and established targets by subgroup, it is impossible to know whether this target is ambitious or aligned to any objective measure. The absence of a proficiency goal and targets is also inconsistent with the State Board of Education’s five-year comprehensive plan, which states that “every student is expected to meet high standards.”
Connecticut also does not yet have an English language proficiency goal.
The state explains that it is waiting to set its final goal until it has additional data, and it plans to use a methodology similar to how it measures growth in English and math.
Connecticut has proposed setting its graduation rate goal at 94 percent for all students, which it aims to reach by 2029.
The plan does not explain how the state chose its 94 percent target, but the goal itself will mean very different things for different groups of students. Although subgroups of students such as English-language learners would have to make steep progress to meet the state’s goal, the state is not asking for any gains in the graduation rates of Asian-American students, which are actually allowed to decline by almost 1 percentage point.