Pelto, In Other Words: If You Ignore Poor, Minority Students, Connecticut’s Doing GREAT!

Apparently, to Jon Pelto minority students don’t count?

During one of Pelto’s incoherent tirades… I mean blog posts … he wrote this gem:

“Note: Connecticut’s schools are incredibly successful. As a result of poverty, language barriers and insufficient support for students who have special education needs, Connecticut has a significant achievement gap between suburban and urban schools that must be addressed, but to suggest that “our youngsters are arriving at college unprepared” is the statement of a liar or a fool.”

If Connecticut was “incredibly successful,” then it wouldn’t just be the wealthy, white students performing well.

Yes, that’s right. Connecticut isn’t just made up of just rich, white people. Mind blown!

Those students in urban areas still count. Connecticut can’t claim to be a top performing state when its urban students perform worse than urban students everywhere else.

That’s right, the test scores for students in urban areas in Connecticut are worse than those of students in urban area in Mississippi, Alabama, and every other state.

How can you possibly claim that Connecticut is just fine, unless of course, you write off low-income students?

If poverty was the only problem, how do you explain schools that are doing well in Bridgeport, Hartford and New Haven?

Take for example Capital Prep in Hartford: If you look at the growth data it shows that Capital Prep takes in some of the lowest- performing students in the district, yet student’s test scores reveal that on average Capital Prep students perform better than the rest of the school district in every single subject. [State Department of Education, Performance Report, Capital Preparatory School 2012-2013]

This is not isolated. Achievement First Bridgeport Academy students do leaps and bounds better than their counterparts in other local public schools, 20 percentage points better and on par with the state average. It’s not just math, this is basically the trend in every subject. [State Department of Education, Performance Report, Achievement First 2012-2013; Bridgeport 2012-2013]

If poverty was the only problem how come Russia is out performing our much wealthier Connecticut students in math and science? The Russian Federation, where the per-capita GDP is around $9,000 out-ranked Connecticut with an average GDP of $56,242 according to a National Center for Education Statistics study. [Institute of Education Sciences, NAEP TIMSS Linking Study]

For that matter, If Connecticut students are “incredibly successful” how come they are getting outranked by Russia, Singapore, Korea and Japan?

What makes Pelto’s comment even more ridiculous is, he just wrote an article about Connecticut colleges dropping non-credit remedial classes?

If Connecticut students were as prepared for college as Pelto claims, how come over 10,000 college students enroll in remedial classes? Mind you, Pelto was upset that colleges are now being forced to drop remedial classes.

So, he completely recognizes that thousands of Connecticut students aren’t prepared for college level work.

Pelto contradicts the data and common sense, but also himself. Apparently contradicting yourself is perfectly fine as long as you can take pot-shots at the state Department of Education.



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