Newtown and all of the public schools in town met adequate yearly progress standards with the exception of students with learning disabilities at Reed Intermediate School, according to data the Connecticut Department of Education released Monday.
Just slightly more than half of all schools in the state met performance standards set under the federal No Child Left Behind act, although due in part to a tightening of standards, the number of schools that failed the benchmark this year increased compared to last year, state officials said.
Newtown as a district and all of the town's public schools in general met those standards, which require that nine out of 10 students be proficient in math and reading based on Connecticut Mastery and Connecticut Academic Performance test results.
The only exception was with a subgroup at Reed Intermediate School – comprised of students with learning disabilities – which was among 14 statewide that failed reading proficiency standards, according to the state's data.
Subgroups of students are categorized based on race and ethnicity, English language learner status and special eduction. Mark Linabury, a spokesman for the state education department said on Tuesday that 73.5-percent of students with disabilities at Reed scored at proficiency levels on the reading section of the CMT. Federal benchmarks say that 89-percent should score at proficiency.
District and school officials could not be reached for comment Monday afternoon.
Last year, all subgroups and schools in the district met adequate yearly progress. In 2008-09 school year, a subgroup at Newtown Middle School failed proficiency standards in reading and math.
Adequate Yearly Progress is a standard that came into existence following the passage of the No Child Left Behind act in 2001, which sets an expectation for minimum performance standards in math and reading. By 2014, all students are expected to be proficient in the reading and math sections of the CMT and CAPT exams.
Every year, state officials have been increasing the standards in order to meet the 2014 goal. This year, adequate yearly progress is defined to be 89-percent of students testing proficient in the reading section of the CMT and 91-percent in the math section. The standards for CAPT are 91-percent in reading and 90-percent in math.
Newtown scores on the while that of the year before, though enough for the district to meet federal standards.
Editor's note: This article has been updated since it was originally published to identify the subgroup that failed federal benchmarks.