FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. — Connecticut's high school graduation rate is steadily rising and beating national numbers while more students than ever are taking AP tests, Gov. Dannel Malloy and state Education Commissioner Dianna R. Wentzell announced Tuesday.
Malloy and Wentzell highlighted the state's milestones in education over the last several years, including:
- Connecticut’s graduation rate is up 5.2 points since 2010 to 87 percent, higher than national average of 82 percent.
- Connecticut students continue to be among top readers in the nation, according to NAEP results.
- In 2015, nearly 27,000 students, a 5.7 percent increase over 2014, took 48,559 AP tests. Also, traditionally under-represented students posted gains: 5.7 percent more black students took an AP exam and 3.7 percent more Hispanic students took an AP exam over 2014.
- From the 2009-10 school year to the 2013-14 school year, the total number of suspensions and expulsions in Connecticut was reduced by 17 percent.
- Since 2011, state funding to the Department of Education increased 24 percent, or $595,485,244.
- State ECS grants – the main education funding mechanism to municipalities – is up $173.2 million.
- The SAT will replace the Smarter Balanced test for 11th-graders, thus reducing over-testing at the high school level and giving all students a chance to take this college entrance exam for free.
“We are reaching new heights and making significant progress in our schools, and it’s all geared toward building a brighter future for our state,” Malloy said. “The successes we achieve today in our classrooms are critical to the future Connecticut tomorrow.”
Wentzell agreed, saying, “With a soaring graduation rate and students who are among the top readers in the nation, Connecticut is leading the way on collaborative efforts to transform schools and give all children access to a top-quality education that prepares them for success in college, career and life."
Since 2011, hundreds of millions of dollars have been invested into Connecticut schools, an increased investment tied to greater accountability through programs such as the Alliance District and Commissioner’s Network. The Alliance Districts represent the 30 lowest performing districts in Connecticut, which have received millions of dollars in additional state investments.
The Commissioner’s Network awards grants to schools that engage in intensive turnaround processes at the school level. These schools receive additional funding by partnering with the State Department of Education to create and implement meaningful turnaround plans.
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