Published November 24. 2012 4:00AM
Congratulations to teachers, administrators and, above all, students in New London who have reversed a dismal trend by scoring well on statewide standardized tests.
Earlier this week students who are in 8th and 11th grades were honored along with their families at the second annual Breakfast of Champions. They had tested at or above "goal" level on the Connecticut Mastery Test and the Connecticut Academic Performance Test last March.
In achieving this standard established by the state of Connecticut, students exceeded the district's 5 percent improvement goal in reading and math. Equally welcome news was the fact that African-American students, English language learners and those who receive free or reduced lunch outperformed the state average by a wide margin.
The so-called achievement gap between minorities in poor, urban districts such as New London and students in suburban towns has been one of Connecticut's most shameful discrepancies. This newspaper continues to be troubled that across the state only 59.7 percent of African-American students scored as proficient or above.
In New London, though, 81.3 percent of African-Americans achieved proficiency - virtually the same as the 82.1 percent of white students who reached that level. That group also outperformed their peers statewide by 20 percent.
Many of the students who earned higher marks asked for and received extra classroom assistance, including attending Saturday sessions that were offered to them.
It is a positive trend we expect to continue. Success in New London schools, operating under the supervision of a state-appointed special master to overcome educational shortcomings, shows that hard work and added help pay off.