Few than 25 percent of black students at Fitch High School scored at the state’s goal in any academic subject on the Connecticut Academic Performance Test in 2012, in some cases scoring more than 20 percentage points below overall student performance.
Low-income students, or those receiving free or reduced meals, scored slightly better than black students, but also well below their peers.
“This is truly a disgrace to those kids at that high school,” School Board Member Beverly Washington said Monday, after hearing a summary from High School Principal Joseph Arcarese.
Washington asked what he planned to do about it.
Arcarese said he doesn't have enough administrators to go into classrooms, and scores will never improve unless he has department heads or deans to enter classrooms and assess teaching.
“So you’re telling me that the teachers that we have now . . . are you saying they’re not doing as well as they should be doing because there’s no one in that classroom evaluating them?” Washington asked.
Arcarese said yes, that was what he meant.
“The doors are shut, things happen, they do what they want to do,” he said. Arcarese said Fitch High School has many great teachers, but like in all schools, there are some that need extra supervision and help.
The CAPT is a standardized test given statewide to tenth graders to assess their performance in math, reading, writing and science.
Results showed that Fitch improved in every subject over its three-year average prior to 2012, but that it remains below the state average in every subject except math.
Black students showed the weakest performance.
For example, 17.4 percent of black students scored at goal or better in math, 15.4 percent scored at goal or better in reading, and 13.8 percent scored at goal or better in science.
By comparison, 43.6 percent of students overall scored at goal or better in math, 39.4 percent scored at goal or better in reading and 41.4 percent scored at goal or better in science.
Students receiving free and reduced lunch also scored well below their peers. Scores showed 21.7 percent of low-income students scored at goal or better in math, 20.1 percent scored at goal or better in reading, and 20 percent scored at goal or better in science.
Students scored better across the board in writing, but still well below the state average.