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Trumbull's Rank in Magazine Poll Analyzed

Although Trumbull was recently ranked 46th by U.S. News and World Report based on teacher ratio, Advanced Placement and exit test scores, several of its clubs have taken high honors in academic competitions.

School Board Chairman Stephen Wright doesn't see numbers. He sees students.

Upon hearing that was numbered 46th on the list of state high schools by U.S. News and World Report, he said it was a snapshot rather than a complete assessment of the district.

He spoke after a recent meeting during which two student academic teams reported success:We The People, and DECA, which teaches business and marketing. Wright was also proud of the students who returned from recent class trips to France and Spain because of their eagerness to learn and their positive behavior away from home.

"You display what we're trying to do with the schools," Wright said. 

The list ranked high schools partly based on Advanced Placement test results. Trumbull was near the state average with 16 percent taking AP tests and 15 percent of students passing. The top spot schools percentages for AP exams were more than 50 percent.

Schools Supt. Ralph Iassogna said Wednesday, "Our ranking was affected by our high teacher-to-student ratio. Actually only three districts out of 50 Connecticut high schools have higher ratios, which are a direct result of funding. Our low number of students who opt to not take the college AP exam is controlled by student selection and is driven by one’s college choice, which may or may not award AP test credits for college placement.

"In the other two academic categories, we are extremely pleased by our excellent 95 percent  proficiency scores in both Reading and Math, which are well above the Connecticut average. Although we always will strive for a higher standard, we are pleased when you drill down and see what is behind the numbers," the superintendent said.

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Trumbull outscored districts in its group (DRG) on CAPT and CMT exams last year while spending less per pupil than the other districts. And Trumbull High has still been recognized nationally despite its position on the list.

Wright said the numbers do not account for Trumbull's efforts to identify children with learning difficulties and address them early in their academic careers.

He added that Trumbull does not offer as many AP courses as other schools in Fairfield County. The district's peers include Greenwich, Fairfield and Monroe and some outside of Fairfield County. 

Coming in ahead were:

  • Third: Ridgefield
  • Fourth: Weston
  • Fifth: Staples (Westport)
  • Seventh: Darien
  • Eighth: Wilton
  • 15th: New Canaan
  • 16th: Fairfield Ludlowe
  • 17th: Greenwich
  • 18th: Joel Barlow (Redding)
  • 21st: Brookfield
  • 23rd: Masuk (Monroe)

Trumbull was ranked above Bethel, Brien McMahon (Norwalk) and Briggs (Norwalk), among other Fairfield County schools.

Check out the full report on the U.S. News Web site, www.usnews.com, or jump to the list of recognized Connecticut schools.

dave wilsoon May 10, 2012 at 01:00 PM
WOW VERY EMBARRASSING CONSIDERING THE TAX DOLLARS POURED INTO THIS SYSTEM
Richard W. White May 10, 2012 at 01:17 PM
Mr. Wilson, you must of missed Mr. Wright's comment that Trumbull is splending less than most schools in the state (109 out of 169) per student and out performing most (top 20%?) in the state and we're above the median in our DRG. We have a system to be proud of and emmulated -- we need to preserve what we have. Frankly, I'm a bit surprised that someone posting as a former First Selectman seems so bitter about what Trumbull has to offer.
Kathleen McGannon May 10, 2012 at 04:26 PM
That's who he wants you to think he is. Dave Wil SON would never disparage Trumbull. Dave Wil SOON does. Often.
Nancy May 10, 2012 at 06:30 PM
The article is designed to sell magazine subscriptions. Do not confuse it with a thorough assessment or fair comparison of various high school's strengths and weaknesess. I encourage people to examine whether or not we have adequately and equally funded our school programs from K to 12. Unfortunately, a political decision was made to make an over $800, 000 investment in full day Kindergarten without a true evaluation of Trumbull student needs. According to the annual CMT scores given in grades 3, 4 and 5, our elementary school population did not need more instructional time. The high school, being the 2nd largest and most diverse of any on ranking list, does very well given the very high staff to student ratio, subpar physical plant (despite the half-assed renovation), and limited choices of electives, world languages and fine arts classes. Those in the top 10 have state of the art physical plants and more resources for fewer kids. Not a fair comparison! Of course, maybe we should take the money spent on a few hundered 5 and 6 year olds and redirect to the over 2, 200 14-18 year olds!!!!!!!!!!!!
Joan May 10, 2012 at 07:59 PM
Amen!
dave wilsoon May 11, 2012 at 01:05 AM
If I recall Nanc and Kath, the BOE is given a boatload of money by the taxpayers, then folks like Ralph and Steve decide how to spend it. Obviously, they are more concerned with ceramics classes and assistants to deans assisting housemasters than either reducing the teacher /student ratio or offering "as many AP courses as other schools in Fairfield County" Since THEY decide how to spend the tax dollars allocated to the system, I guess it's their fault. disparage ? Sorry to confuse you with the facts
dave wilsoon May 11, 2012 at 01:08 AM
PS. They are also responsible for the half-a....d supposed like new renovation of the high school you so eloquently wrote about - these two have been in charge during the entire design, planning and implementation stages.
Lisa Labella May 11, 2012 at 03:35 AM
Actually the renovation is under the direction of the THS Building Committee, which is a committee convened by, appointed by, and reporting to the Town Council, not the BOE. The Building Committee selects the architects, construction company, manages the spending, effectively determine the entire course of the project. The role of the BOe is early on in providing the educational needs. From there on it's the Building Committees responsibility.
JR May 11, 2012 at 11:07 AM
Nancy, What's the problem with the renovation?
trumbulite09 May 11, 2012 at 03:02 PM
Could not have said it better!
trumbulite09 May 11, 2012 at 03:03 PM
I would like to see the same accountability on the town side. How many positions did they hire this year? What are the renovations going on at the town hall?
dave wilsoon May 11, 2012 at 04:09 PM
Ok Lisa I'll play- See below from the BOE October 2009 meeting minutes - a typical report from the THS building committee, giving the entire Board and Ralph monthly updates and also seeking questions , input and requiring executive signoffs for state paperwork. To imply the building committee works in a vacuum, all by itself, is untrue. Your board appears to have monthly opportunities to make recommendations if you care. This overpriced half-a...d monster is a BOE responsibility, funded by the taxpayers B. Approval/Final Plans and Specifications Phase 2 Trumbull High School Renovate as New Project— Mr. Barbarotta updated the Board on the status of the THS Renovate as New Project and gave a brief overview of the final plans and specs for Phase 2, as Board approval is needed to move the project forward to the State Facilities Unit. O & G Industries gave a project status report, focusing on Phase 1. They summarized the design plans and specifications for Phase 2. They further noted the Trumbull High Building Committee received a similar presentation on Wednesday, October 7, 2009, and endorsed submission to the State once Board approval is received. Discussion ensued. It was moved (Tyborowski) seconded (Chory) to approve the final plans and design specifications for Phase 2 of the THS Renovate as New Project. Vote: Unanimous in favor. It was moved (Tyborowski) seconded (Herbst) to authorize the Superintendent and Board Chairman to sign the State ED042 form for Phase 2
Cindy Katske May 11, 2012 at 04:47 PM
The Town Council receives updates from the THS building committee at every meeting. The BOE does not. The Town Council appoints members of the THS building committee. The BOE does not. The Town Council approves funding for the THS renovation. The BOE does not. Under state law and rules, the Superintendent and BOE chair are required to sign the requisite forms. That hardly makes them "in charge during the entire design, planning and implementation stages."
Carol Hudak May 11, 2012 at 05:07 PM
And let's not forget . . . the FS is driving a new car. Let's see . . .there was the original TR-1 (wasn't that in some sort of accident??); Then he was driving Chief Kiely's SUV . . . and now, he's driving another car. A new car. Would someone kindly clarify this for us lowly (overly-bonded) taxpayers? Would hate to see rumors prevail, when someone in the know can give us the facts. Kristy? Suzanne? Anyone?? Perhaps this has been paid for, in part, by the $8,000.00 we lowly (overly-bonded) taxpayers are saving by re-districting??? Many enquiring minds want to know. Thank you for the light you will be shedding on this.
HL May 11, 2012 at 05:18 PM
This particular FDK move was good for the teachers (new jobs) and the Herbst administration (delivering on a promise), but at the expense of all of the students in grades K-11 now.
dave wilsoon May 11, 2012 at 06:18 PM
I guess according to cindi, Ralph and Steve neither listen, read or acknowledge the MONTHLY report given to them by the building committee. They then sign forms without actually reading them or agreeing with what they just signed off to. Apparently the committee just leads them to accept anything for any amount of tax dollars- no questions asked or input given? Do you really think the taxpayers are that stupid? Blame the committee alone for this never ending renovation mess? Hardly
Nancy May 11, 2012 at 06:34 PM
To Dave Our taxes are way too high and it does beg the question of what are we getting for it. Given that the 1st Selectman took $4 million dollars and now the BOF just refused to give it back to finish the project. These are the types of shenanigans that explain the quality of the project has been undermined all along the way. I did better research than US News and World Report by taking 5 small steps: -visited at least 4 of the top ranked schools closest to Trumbull to check out their grounds, athletic fields/facilities, and classrooms. -Using the same 4 schools, downloaded school data on the CT State Dept of Ed's Strategic School Profile. -looked for comparisons of the things that are common issues (i.e. staff to student ratios, # of admin, # of instructional hours in specific course disciplines, and student performance -paid particular attention to the different size and demographics of each school's student population as compared to Trumbull -Lastly, I went to each school's website, checked it out, and then accessed the Program (or Course) of Studies book to get a sense of the variety of classes offered and the number of guidance counselors as compared to Trumbull. My conclusion is we pay more in taxes, have less in school resources, perform quite well despite, but the last thing we needed was an investment in full day Kindergarten!
Carol Hudak May 11, 2012 at 10:18 PM
Nancy, thank you for your research. Dave, I'll answer your question: The Trumbull taxpayers who vote ARE that stupid. They bought the fantasy of "I lowered your taxes" and signed this administration on for two more very long years. (evidently bonded debt doesn't count) Now, who can tell us lowly (overly- bonded) taxpayers about the new 'First' vehicle? Thank you!
Kristy Waizenegger May 11, 2012 at 11:44 PM
I suppose it's possible that the FS is driving a different vehicle, I really don't know but he certainly does not have a new car. Carol, perhaps you can tell me from whom you got this information since as you stated, you would not want rumors to prevail. Thanks.
Tom Kelly May 12, 2012 at 01:39 AM
The First Selectman drives around town often, Kristy. It's easy to see what he's driving. I understand that a number of new take home vehicles were recently distributed. I won't ask you how you feel about that because I respect the fact that you are one of the few R's who has the guts to post anything, anywhere. I'll just say I think it stinks considering that all of us ran criticizing town cars. It's truly unbelievable how many promises and positions the Herbst crew abandoned.
Kristy Waizenegger May 12, 2012 at 04:02 PM
Tom, I think it's only fair that people get their facts straight before posting lies. Enjoy this beautiful day - it's already mid 70's and it's only noon.
Joan May 12, 2012 at 04:44 PM
So what are the "facts" regarding the new (?) vehicle the First Selectman is driving? What happened to the last one? I think taxpayers have a right to know.
Kristy Waizenegger May 12, 2012 at 05:48 PM
This is absolutely hilarious - one person asserts an accusation and people just jump on board - and always you Joan! At any rate, the car the FS is driving is most certainly not new. All of us would encourage our children or friends to get the facts before starting a rumor or stating something as a fact but yet those rules don't seem to apply here. Tom Kelly correctly stated that I am one of the few who post here anymore well this is why - I respond to an inquiry and then people like Joan come back at me - here's an idea Joan, ask the FS yourself! Step up and be part of the solution if you think we have so many problems.
Tom Kelly May 13, 2012 at 02:53 AM
Kristy, you are right that facts need to be posted, and we will contact the First Selectman's Office to see what the facts are. Do you know for a fact that more take home vehicles have not been distributed to town employees or that the FS did not recently get a new vehicle?
Mark E Smith May 13, 2012 at 03:55 PM
Tom, You just said that you will contact the FS office. Why are you in the same breath asking Kristy the same question? Don't contradict yourself, go the the FS and ask, then their will be no ambiguity. Simple.
Archie Bunker May 14, 2012 at 12:34 AM
Nice way to ask a leading question, Tom - just like a trial lawyer. How about "Tom, did you not beat your wife this weekend"?
Tom Kelly May 14, 2012 at 11:26 AM
Hey Arch, your comparison is not valid. It's not a leading question. Kristy stated two posts above mine that the vehicle the First Selectman is driving is "most certainly not new." I personally observed him to be driving a vehicle that is either new, or very close to new. It's not the same one he's been driving. So my question, which I will repeat, is perfectly valid. I am wondering if she knows for a fact that the vehicle I saw Mr. Herbst driving is not new, or whether she is referring to the last vehicle the FS has been driving. And by the way, wife-beating analogies are in poor taste regardless of context, but probably not surprising coming from someone whose character called his wife a dingbat to her face and was an ignorant, racist, uneducated, conservative from 40 years ago.
sgosha June 13, 2012 at 12:36 AM
I wonder also - In my opinion it is the THS administration and the superintendant of schools. They restrict access to these classes and limit the number of students that gain access. I have first-hand experience.
sgosha June 13, 2012 at 12:37 AM
THS is not offering a competitive education and AP is extremely important - Have you gone on any college tours lately?
sgosha June 13, 2012 at 12:40 AM
THS needs to be in line with the surrounding towns. College will look and take from those towns where these students have completed more challenging courses. THS is an not adequate when it comes to offering a more AP courses - not compared to other towns.

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