Reform · Students

School Metrics Reveal More Students Staying in District: Is School-Choice Good for District?

The Student Achievement and Special Populations Ad Hoc Committee met Monday to discuss the “district dashboard.”

The dashboard was created by former Chief Operating Officer, Don Kennedy. It gives a snapshot of the district over the past three years and includes all sorts of data, including drop-out rates, attendance, suspension and several others.

One metric I found interesting: more high performing students are staying in the district.

According to the data, 71.8 percent of students stay in the district after eighth grade, whereas two years ago that number was a mere 49 percent. In the past, students with high CMT scores tended to leave Bridgeport schools, seeking better opportunities elsewhere.

Other than skewing CMT scores, this also meant a loss of funds, since funding travels with the student in Connecticut.

This information does beg the question: Is school choice a factor in retaining students?

Two years ago, there were only three non-specialized high schools. Now there are five, including the new inter-district magnet school, Fairchild Wheeler. With more options than ever for students entering high school, it would make sense that parents are keeping their children in Bridgeport.

Two weeks from now, the Student Achievement committee plans to meet again to discuss parent survey data. It would be interesting to see if these surveys give insight to why students are staying.

If you’d like to see more information about the data presented, the Connecticut Post’s Linda Connor Lambeck has a great blog post about the metrics [Connecticut Post, 10/22/2013]



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