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CMT Analysis Shows More Latinos Excused than Average

A more thorough analysis of the recently released Connecticut Mastery Test (CMT) scores shows that as a percentage, more eighth grade Latinos were exempt from taking the CMT. Overall, Latino children were making advancement at all levels but still falling behind state averages.
Robert Cotto, Jr., Senior Policy Fellow for K-12 Education at CT Voices for Children in New Haven, prepared an analysis of the statewide data at CTLatino.com’s request. He studied results among various grade levels.
As a percentage, more Latinos in grades 3-8 are not taking the standard CMT in math and reading, as compared to the overall state average. Between 93 to 95% of students in grades 3-8 took the standard CMT in math and reading. More than 97% of all students took the standard CMT in writing and science. However, 88.8% of eighth grade Hispanic/Latino students of any race took the standard CMT in reading and 89.4% took the standard CMT in math in 2012.
Keeping those students out of the mainstream testing (most of the Hispanic/Latino students not taking the standard CMT in math or reading took the modified assessment, skills checklists, or were exempt as English language learners) could be a means for massaging the test results. Cotto pointed out, “As the percent of all students that are taking the standard CMT in math and reading has decreased the percent of all students at or above the proficient and goal level has increased.”
Based on status indicators, Cotto determined that 86.2% of students in the eighth grade taking the standard CMT in reading were at or above the proficient level. On the standard CMT in math, 87.1% were at or above the proficient level on the standard CMT. For Hispanic/Latino students of any race, 68.8% were at or above the proficient level on the standard CMT in reading and 70.3% were at or above the proficient level on the standard CMT in math.
Family income continues to play a significant role in CMT performance, Cotto determined. He said 94% of students paying full price meals-or those from families making above 185% of the Federal Poverty level taking the standard CMT in reading in eighth grade were at or above the proficient level in 2012. On the flip side, 70.4% of students in the state below this income level, or eligible for free/reduced price meals, were at or above the proficient level on the standard CMT in reading.
Cotto said his research determined roughly 74% of all Hispanic/Latino students of any race in the eighth grade were eligible for free/reduced price meals in 2012. In 2011-2012, a family of four had to earn less than $41,348 in annual gross income to be eligible for reduced and less than $29,055 to eligible for free meal eligibility in the National School Lunch program.
He added that 84.8% of Hispanic/Latino students paying full price meals and taking the standard CMT in reading in eighth grade were at the proficient level or above. 63.1% of eighth grade Hispanic/Latino students eligible for free/reduce price meals were at or above the proficient level on the standard CMT in reading.
 

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