Connecticut plans to place schools into five categories based on their relative performance.
Connecticut’s plan separates schools by quartile and creates hard cut points around those quartiles. This means that schools may also move in and out of different categories simply because other schools jumped them in the rankings. The state proposes to lower a school’s category one level if its high-needs group is a “significant outlier,” but does not define what this means.
Connecticut’s plan to identify targeted support schools appears to violate federal requirements.
Connecticut must revisit its definition and ensure that a school with any low-performing subgroup be identified for targeted support.
Connecticut proposes to look at the six-year graduation rate.
The state would only look at that rate if schools failed to reach a 70 percent threshold in three consecutive years. ESSA sets the threshold at 67 percent, and the state would have a stronger plan that was more aligned to its long-term vision if it used its four-year graduation rate here.
Connecticut deserves credit for incorporating recognition for “schools of distinction.”
The criteria Connecticut is using to identify those schools are comprehensive, appropriate, and worthy of replication by other states. Most states are only focused on low-performing schools.