Teresa DeBrito had good news for the Region 12 Board of Education this week.

The Region 12 director of curriculum told the board Monday that improvement has been shown on the Connecticut Mastery Tests.

According to newly released Vertical Scale comparisons, Region 12 students taking the CMT in third through eighth grades from 2008 through 2013 showed excellent development in mathematics and reading skills.

The points rating ranked Region 12 students as possessing "extensive knowledge in all areas" of mathematics and reading by eighth grade.

"The vertical scale provides very specific reports on specific groups of students," DeBrito said. "It's a nice way to see how a student is progressing and moving forward. We can see tremendous growth for kids who starting with us in third grade going forward."

DeBrito also did a comparison of CMT scores to other demographic areas -- DRG A towns including Greenwich, Glastonbury and West Hartford and DRG B towns including Ridgefield, Weston and Westport.

"We are really doing a phenomenal job and can compete with these DRGs," DeBrito said. "Our students out-performed many districts in these DRGs."

Connecticut Academic Performance tests taken by 10th-graders in 2013 showed less striking development.

CAPT mathematics results revealed 64 percent at or above goal, with science at 34.6 percent, reading at 59.2 and writing at 55.1 percent.

"We report these numbers because this is the world we're competing in," said Kim Gallo, principal of Shepaug Valley Middle/High School.

"They are just a snapshot in time, but our scores need to rise. We're doing specific things to make that happen."

One of those things was eliminating block scheduling for this school year.

In previous years, Shepaug had students who did not have math and science courses continuously between their elementary years and the 10th-grade CAPT, Superintendent of Schools Pat Cosentino said.

With the new class scheduling, curriculum alignment with the new state Common Core Standards and reinstated intervention program, "We will definitely see improvements," Cosentino said.

Spring 2013 was the last time Region 12 students would take the CMT and CAPT tests to measure progress in math, reading and writing.

The tests are being replaced by the state with the Smarter Balance Assessment test for third through eighth grades and 11th grade.

However, the state will continue to assess science knowledge with the CMT in fifth, eighth and 10th grades.

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