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.