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College Readiness Lagging at Stratford High Schools: Report

An evaluation of college readiness at Stratford and Bunnell high school scored below the state average.

U.S. News and World Report this week released its rankings of the top public high schools in the country, as well as the top 35 in Connecticut.

And while Stratford’s two high schools did not crack the top 35 – Darien High School took the top spot – data compiled by U.S. News offers some insight on Stratford and Bunnell high school, when compared to the other 194 Connecticut high schools surveyed.

Both Stratford and Bunnell had a student-to-teacher ratio larger than the state average and a college readiness score, based on senior AP exams, below the state average.

The reported student-to-teacher ratio at Bunnell was 16:1 and at Stratford was 15:1.

Researchers found 12 percent of seniors at Bunnell took AP exams with 10 percent passing; while 12 percent of seniors at Stratford took AP exams with 7 percent passing.

By comparison, Connecticut's top high school in Darien AP tested 61 percent of seniors and 59 percent passed. The last ranked school at number 35, Sports & Med Science in Hartford, had 21 percent of seniors tested with 15 percent passing.

Both Stratford schools scored near the state average in math and reading, based on state exams, according to the report.

U.S. News and Washington, DC-based American Institutes for Research used data on how well students perform overall on state-mandated assessments, as well as how groups such as black, Hispanic and low-income students perform.

“Schools were ranked within each state, as well as on a national stage, so families can see how their public high school stacked up against rivals within the community and across the country,” U.S. News said.

Here are the top-20 ranked high schools in Connecticut, with the second number indicating national ranking:

1. Darien High School—Darien (217)

2. Conard High School—West Hartford (218)

3. Weston High School—Weston (240)

4. Ridgefield High School—Ridgefield (250)

5. Farmington High School—Farmington (258)

6. Wilton High School—Wilton (292)

7. Staples High School—Westport (296)

8. William H. Hall High School—West Hartford (394)

9. Joel Barlow High School—Redding (434)

10. Connecticut International Baccalaureate Academy—East Hartford (448)

11. Fairfield Ludlowe High School—Fairfield (483)

12. East Lyme High School—East Lyme (524)

13. Granby Memorial High School—Granby (527)

14. Avon High School—Avon (532)

15. New Canaan High School—New Canaan (544)

16. Simsbury High School—Simsbury (547)

17. Metropolitan Learning Center—Bloomfield (716)

18. Daniel Hand High School—Madison (773)

19. Amity Regional High School—Woodbridge (780)

20. Fairfield Warde High School—Fairfield (792)

Karen E Daden April 25, 2013 at 04:49 PM
If this is true where has all taxpayers monies for education gone to? Given the budget which the Board of Education has our kids should be better prepared. Again what and where does the monies go? Do tax monies go to support bettering teachers and supporting them in class or to the administration for new chairs?
Anne K. Mulligan April 27, 2013 at 06:36 PM
Not surprising that so many of them are in affluent towns. How about a follow-up comparing the education budgets of those towns to Stratford's?
David April 28, 2013 at 03:12 AM
While a lot of history can be related to money, do we really have to link money to Stratford's rating in this education study? Could it be that because Stratford is a place certain people choose to live, these people don't instil the same drive or mentorship to their children as other towns? Maybe you'll find that instead of the money thrown at schools, the appathy of the folks who live in a town, don't drive their children to be as successful? Is anyone measuring how many parents whom are of a scholar background or just plain more educated in Stratford actually send their kids to private schools vereses taking the risk of being in schools where students are not driven to succeed by other factors? Is it only up to the student to succeed or are they being corrupted by the poor influence of their parents and fellow students in their town? This survey could be seen as a reflection on the people of the town of Stratford; that is a disappointing thought, hopefully not true. The only potential saving thought(wishful desire) is that surveys can be twisted to be a lie.
lisadowd May 26, 2013 at 12:22 PM
I am not sure if I agree with the opinion that children that attend the high schools in Stratford are not driven or persuaded by their parents to do well. Yes, there are many parents (me being one of them) who choose to send our children to private schools or elsewhere to get what we as individual people feel is a better education, and yes it turns my stomach when i think of all the taxes we pay to not feel comfortable sending my child to High School in Stratford. I think it is a personal choice. Just like anything in life, if there is a better way to accomplish something as important as a childs education, which is a one shot deal, why wouldn't a parent do whatever they can to make it happen. I will say I experienced some pretty bad experiences in the Stratford Public School system and I think revamping the system as a whole might be a better way to achieve this towns goal of supplying a better education to our children. There are some administrators, teachers and other faculty (no names mentioned) that just do not belong in the education system and then there are some that will go above and beyond in their respective positions to do anything to educate, mold and encourage our children to strive for the top. Unfortunately Stratford has not had the best heirarchy (top level people at the Board of Education Department) to achieve this goal. I do not regret one tiny moment for the choices I have made concerning my childs education and neither has she, but I do feel that if Stratford does not get on the band wagon soon with the education portion of this towns appeal there will be tough times ahead for progress. Who wants to move to a town with schools that are not up to par with the rest of the nation never mind the state and pay high taxes. Hopefully but not very optimistic about Stratford anymore.

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