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Curious about Educational Opportunities in Connecticut?

Updated: Nov 21, 2021

Children can learn in many ways, such as at home, at school, in their neighborhoods, or from their peers. There are, however, differences in these opportunities provided to children, as reflected in their test scores. At least, this is what Stanford researchers believe. The university has developed a national database of academic performance and uses three measures (1) to assess education opportunities in a school or a community. What does educational opportunity look like in Connecticut?

Average Test Scores

This is a blended score of math and Reading Language Arts. According to the Stanford database, "Connecticut provides higher than average educational opportunities," with average scores being 0.52-grade levels higher than those states with similar socioeconomic status.

A further breakdown of the data by demography however reveals a gap among the different groups.

Gaps in Average Test Scores

White students, on average, score at a level that is 2.98 grade-levels higher than those of black students. They are also 2.88 grades above Hispanic students. The gap between non-poor and poor is similarly large.

Learning Rates

This is the measurement of how much children learn at school each year. Overall, Connecticut is on a par with the US average. However white students as a group learn more than black and Hispanic students do every year. This gap in learning rate is also reflected in that between the non-poor and poor students.

Gaps in Learning Rates

Trend in Test Scores

This measure evaluates whether educational opportunities are improving or declining in a community. In Connecticut, the trend is a small decline (0.02 grade-level annually) from 2009-2018. By demographic groups, white students outperformed black students but underperformed in comparison to Hispanic students. Non-poor students are also slightly behind poor students in this trend.

Gaps in Test Scores Trend

Connecticut has one of the largest achievement gaps (by race or by income) among all states. Is it a coincidence that we also have some of the richest towns in the US meanwhile a few cities among the poorest in the country?

(1) Sources for all data and graphs:

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