New Haven, Conn. – Connecticut’s fourth- and eighth-grade students continue to score higher than their national peers in reading, and have made modest long-term gains in math based on 2017 results from the Nation’s Report Card–but our current rate of progress means The Constitution State would need a century to close the achievement gap.

“Today’s NAEP results make it clear that Connecticut has the tools–and the instances of true progress–to upend steady habits, but we need to make these gains greater, more urgent and possible for every child in the state,” said Marc Porter Magee, interim executive director of ConnCAN, an education advocacy nonprofit. “Steady habits in education won’t ensure we can thrive in the economy of the future.”

The National Center for Education Statistics released scores this morning from its latest National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), showing that Connecticut’s fourth- and eighth-graders scored seven to eight points above the national average in reading, while eighth-graders scored two points above the national average in math.

Yet the results reveal an overall trend in Connecticut of stagnant student performance in math, reading and English Language Arts.

Even with modest gains, Connecticut students are at risk of falling behind. Since 1998, for instance, reading scores among Connecticut students have plateaued while students nationwide have seen gradually higher scores. A NAEP snapshot of Connecticut student performance shows that math scores have fallen since 2000, from 10 points above the national average to matching it.

Eight in 10 of Connecticut’s fastest-growing careers that require a bachelor’s degree will also require a deep knowledge of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)–yet only four in 10 fourth-grade students in Connecticut were able to demonstrate math proficiency in 2017 .

“In the context of a constantly-evolving 21st-century world, the status quo isn’t enough,” Magee said. “Our economic good health is inseparable from the quality and fairness of our public school system. It may be working for some kids today, but it won’t work best for anyone if we don’t ensure that it’s working well for everyone.”

ConnCAN will release an in-depth analysis of 2017 NAEP results next week.


About ConnCAN: ConnCAN: the Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now is leading a movement to improve education outcomes for Connecticut’s kids. We bring advocates, policymakers, parents and educators together to change the system and give all kids access to the great public schools they deserve.


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