Letter: Article purposefully cast school system in negative light

There's a public hearing at Madison Middle School Saturday morning — and Trumbull residents need to speak up, according to one letter writer.
There's a public hearing at Madison Middle School Saturday morning — and Trumbull residents need to speak up, according to one letter writer.

To the Editor:

Last week, I read an article written by Kathy Champion that cast our school system in a very negative light. What I find incredibly disconcerting is that Mrs. Champion did not make disclosure to either the public or The Trumbull Times that she previously held a fundraiser at her home for the 2015 candidate for first selectman. Mrs. Champion also quoted people in the community that are politically active with her and went to great lengths to materially misrepresent facts and cast our school system in a negative light. Here are the facts. Trumbull is in the District Reference Group “DRG” B the DRGB average for 21 schools is 87.8. Trumbull’s average is 88.6, with our school district outperforming high-achieving districts like West Hartford and Fairfield. When you examine a quick comparison of our schools favorable rating against other notable Fairfield County Schools you will see that Trumbull schools are outperforming affluent school districts in lower Fairfield County. For example Daniels Farm School in Trumbull had a rating of 91.9 compared to Tokeneke Elementary School in Darien which had a rating of 90.8. Frenchtown Elementary School surpassed two elementary schools in Westport with a ranking of 88.9. Hillcrest Middle School in Trumbull scored a rate of 82.3 versus Tomlinson Middle School of Fairfield which scored 80.3. The Connecticut State Department of Education had honored Trumbull over the past two years by citing six of our public schools as Schools of Distinction.

What Mrs. Champion’s article neglected to mention is what Dr. Cialfi and his administrative team have done over the course of the last three years to improve and enhance student performance. This Board of Education and Central Office staff implemented several initiatives to improve performance. We have implemented a college and career transition counselor, increased mental health professionals, and increased intervention specialist for math and literacy. We have reinstituted the SAT prep course for all juniors and this superintendent has increased AP course offerings for our high school students. When you examine SAT performance over a 10 year period, the average SAT score for Trumbull students is 30 points higher today than it was 10 years ago, clearly indicating that we are moving in the right direction.

While it is truly unfortunate how some attempt to politicize our schools it is important going forward that we provide the facts to our residents so that those that attempt to tear down our schools are called out for their political posturing.
Jack Testani
Chairman, Trumbull Republican Town Committee