Madison Schools Recognized By The State As "Schools Of Distinction"

Brown Middle School, Island Avenue School, and Polson Middle School named in the "highest overall performance" category. Brown and DHHS name in "highest performing subgroup" categories.


Madison public schools have once again been recognized as Schools of Distinction by the state Department of Education. 

The Dr. Robert H. Brown Middle School was named in the "highest performing subgroup" category, reduced price meals. Brown Middle School also was named in the "highest overall performance" category. 

Island Avenue School and the Walter C. Polson Upper Middle School were also named in the "highest overall performance" category.

Daniel Hand High School was named in the highest performing subgroup category, students with disabilities.

Here is information from Gov. Dannel Malloy's office on the Schools of Distinction: 

Schools of Distinction will be identified annually.

This category recognizes Title I and non-Title I schools in three different areas : 1) ‘Highest Performing Subgroup,’ 2) ‘Highest Progress’ and 3) ‘Highest Overall Performance.’  Schools of Distinction were identified this year using CMT/ CAPT 2011 and 2012 data.

Note that schools classified as Turnaround or Review (including Focus) are ineligible for this classification. Schools identified as ‘Highest Performing Subgroup’ have the highest index scores in the State for each one of the five traditionally underperforming subgroups on the CMT and the CAPT: 1) students with disabilities, 2) English language learners, 3) Black students, 4) Hispanic students and 5) students eligible for free or reduced price lunch.

Schools identified as ‘Highest Progress’ are broken into two groups—one that has already met the State’s ‘all students’ target of 88 SPI points and the other, which has not, but has increased overall SPI by more than 3 points from 2011 to 2012.

Both are among the top 10 percent of schools making gains in their respective groups, have achievement gaps less than 10 SPI points for the majority of their subgroups and, if they are high schools, have met their respective graduation rate targets.

Schools identified as ‘Highest Overall Performance’ have SPIs greater than 88 and are performing within the top 10 percent of schools across the State.  These schools have achievement gaps less than 10 SPI points for the majority of their subgroups and, if they are high schools, have met their respective graduation rate targets.

Here is the full press release from the State Department of Education: 

Governor Dannel P. Malloy today joined Commissioner Stefan Pryor and the Connecticut State Department of Education at a convening of the “Schools of Distinction,” bringing together representatives from the schools to recognize them for their achievement. A category in Connecticut‟s new school measurement system, “Schools of Distinction” represent the state‟s schools that exhibited either highest overall performance; highest performing subgroups; or highest progress. The classification serves to identify schools as exemplars of best practices. Through facilitated discussion groups, schools shared effective programs and approaches working in their schools that support student learning and explored ways to make this information available to other schools and districts.

“Connecticut has redoubled efforts to provide the best education to all of our students no matter where they live, which school they attend, or socioeconomic status,” said Governor Malloy. “Last year we invested $100 million in our schools, and this year I‟m proposing more than $150 million in additional Educational Cost Sharing funding over the biennium—resources that will be largely targeted to our underperforming schools. I applaud the schools that are here today—their commitment to education is tremendous and they are part of the larger conversation about replicating what works in education.”

“Ensuring that each and every student has an opportunity to succeed in college, career, and life is the collective responsibility of the entire Connecticut education community. We are grateful for the distinguished leadership and commitment of Governor Malloy, who continues to make education a top priority in his administration,” said Commissioner Pryor. “We thank the „Schools of Distinction‟ for sharing their best practices so that other schools might benefit from their experiences and congratulate the administrators, teachers, and students on their designation.”

“By sharing best practices today, these „Schools of Distinction‟ will provide a valuable resource for districts that are considering options for improving learning experiences in their schools,” said Debra Kurshan, Chief Turnaround Officer at the Department of Education. “We look forward to continuing to explore ways the Department can support districts and facilitate opportunities for schools and districts to connect in a peer-to-peer capacity.”

In February 2012, the Connecticut State Department of Education participated in a federal application process for flexibility from certain requirements of No Child Left Behind. In May, the U.S. Department of Education approved Connecticut‟s flexibility request (or waiver), allowing the State to establish a new accountability system.The new performance measurement system improves the State‟s ability to provide more accurate and appropriate interventions, support and recognition to local schools. The “School of Distinction” category serves to recognize schools as exemplars of best practices. Identified annually, Title I and non Title I schools are recognized in three areas: highest overall performance; highest performing subgroup; or highest progress.

This year‟s “Schools of Distinction” category is comprised of 97 schools in 54 districts. Thirteen schools are from the Alliance Districts (the thirty districts statewide deemed to be in greatest need of state support).

For a complete listing of this year‟s “Schools of Distinction,” please visit:



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