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Zero Percent of High School Students Proficient in Math in One of America’s Richest Counties

Zero Percent of High School Students Proficient in Math in One of America’s Richest Counties

The 74 Million is calling it “Connecticut’s shame.” In Fairfield County, a county consistently ranked as one of America’s richest counties, there is a high school that has been failing for the past 50 years.

At Bassick High School in Bridgeport, zero percent of students are proficient in math. A lack of funding has not only teachers reaching into their pockets to fund supplies, but students as well. The 74 says a report revealed students are forced to pay for their own books, science equipment, globes and maps.

"The stakes are no longer who pays for books and globes but how a school that has struggled for decades can rise to the challenge of preparing students for the 21st century — for an economy that requires increasingly high levels of skill and knowledge even as low-wage jobs disappear,” The 74 said.

Students at Bassick High certainly aren’t being prepared for life after graduation- if they show up. Chronic absenteeism is rampant with more than half of the student population missing an average of 18 school days last year. The missed instruction is evident when taking a closer look at the schools’ student performance.

"In all, 68 Bassick students sat for 85 AP exams but scored high enough to earn college credit on only 16 tests. Among the 167 students that took the SAT, the average score on either the 800-point math or English sections did not crack 400, according to The College Board, which administers the test.”

After years of failed reform thanks to a community and government at odds, a 2013 report found that despite Bassick’s teachers generally having positive attitudes and a strong sense of community, efforts to succeed were significantly "hindered by an aging building, insufficient technology and inadequate instructional supplies,”

Add in the fact that propose budget cuts will cut funding to programs aimed at reforming the consistently failing schools, and hope starts to fade.

”[U]ncertainty about Bassick’s future remains. Gov. Malloy has proposed a budget that cuts state funding to CommPACT, leaving program administrators to come up with a new source of money for their parent engagement programming.”

Some predict Bridgeport will suffer for another decade before progress is made.

Read the full story.

Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

5/16/2016

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