Close to half of the students attending Connecticut’s public schools are now minorities, and the rate of students who understand limited English or come from low-income families is at an all-time high.
Meanwhile, overall enrollment in the state’s public schools is declining.
These are some of the findings the State Department of Education reported Monday in the “Condition of Education in Connecticut” report.
“This is such a powerful document… It paints a picture that is important for us as we plan for the future,” said Estela López, a member of the State Board of Education from East Hartford.
Key findings include:
- Many minority students attend homogenous schools. However, the department reports schools are becoming “increasingly diverse.” Last school year, one in four schools had student enrollment where more than 70 percent of the students were minorities.
- Thousands of additional students come from low-income families. The rate of students qualifying for free- or reduced-price meals at school jumped from 27 to 37 percent during the last 10 years.
- “Connecticut’s teaching force is quite homogenous.” Ninety-two percent of certified staff are white.
- White students were disproportionately identified as having autism or a learning disability and Hispanic students with having speech or language impairments.
- Participation in adult education programs has dropped by 20 percent over the last six years, a decline of 6,614 students. Education leaders tie this drop to a change in state law that bars 16-year-olds who drop out of high school from enrolling in an adult education program.
- Black and Hispanic students are suspended at “substantially higher rates than their white counterparts.”
- There were 56,000 students that missed more than 17 days of school last school year, which is 11 percent of public school students.
- Many more high schools are offering students Advancement Placement courses. Nearly one-third of Connecticut’s high school graduates will pass at least one AP exam.
- Graduation rates have increased over the last four years for every group of students.
- Women are much more likely to go to college. Nearly 80 percent of females enrolled in college within one year of graduating high school compared to 68 percent of males.
- Almost half of Connecticut’s high school graduates will complete college within six years.
If you see something else from the report, tell us in the comments.