In 10 years, we see a very different Bridgeport. And a very different future for our children — one in which going to college and leading a successful life is the expectation and not the exception.
Sadly, this is what Bridgeport’s students experience every year. If we continue at this dismal rate of educational progress, it will take nearly 75 years to close the gap between Bridgeport schools and the state’s highest-performing districts.
Clearly, our situation is alarming:
- Only a quarter of our elementary school students read at grade level. Researchers have found that children who struggle to read by the third grade will probably never catch up.
- Only one in 10 of our high school students perform at grade level — the worst rate in the entire State of Connecticut.
- Only half of Bridgeport students graduate from high school. And those who do are not prepared for college or the workplace.
What does this all mean in the life of a Bridgeport child?
Let’s meet Alejandro. Alejandro is a third grader in a Bridgeport public school. He is currently reading at a first-grade level. Next year he won’t be able to read Harry Potter like other fourth graders across the state. Instead, he’ll only be able to read Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss. By the time he reaches eighth grade, he’ll still be learning multiplication facts, not the Pythagorean Theorem. And what if he manages to graduate from high school? Alejandro is likely to only have the skills of a middle school student. Sadly, the longer he stays in this school system, the worse the odds are that he will get an adequate education.
- Closed the achievement gap between Bridgeport elementary students and the rest of their Connecticut peers.
- 90% of students graduating from high school – one of the highest rates in the state of Connecticut.
- 20,000 students across the district on a path for success in whatever field they choose.
What could this mean in the life of a Bridgeport child?
Let’s meet Tasha. Tasha is a high school senior in Bridgeport. She’s considering college choices with her guidance counselor. And she’s not the only one. With most of his students going on to college, her counselor is very busy. Of course, he could see this coming. By the third grade, Bridgeport students rivaled the state averages in reading. By the eighth grade, they were solving simple physics problems. And as they reached high school, they were participating in college prep programs, exploring post-graduation job opportunities and gaining the skills necessary for successful careers — and lives. Tasha has her sights set on the Ivy League, and given the solid academic foundation the Bridgeport Public Schools gave her, she has a good chance of not only getting accepted but of thriving once she’s there.
- Students must hold themselves (and the adults around them) accountable for the quality of education they receive.
- Parents and families must be informed and actively engaged in improving their children’s education.
- Educators must push for higher standards and hold students and themselves accountable.
- School district and civic leaders must support and implement policies that put the interests of students first.
Excel Bridgeport will push for these changes and with your help we can make them a reality.
You can help!