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Signs of improvement in reading and math, while writing TCAP scores lag behind

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By Crystal Nelson

BRIGHTON — While School District 27J’s TCAP scores showed improvement in reading and math, there was an overall decline in writing scores, with five out of eight grade levels showing lower levels of proficient or advanced scores. 

Results from the Colorado Department of Education show the percentage of students who scored proficient or advanced decreased from 2013 across all grade levels in reading, writing and math at the state level. Test scores for science were not included in this years scores, as the science tests administered in 2014 transitioned to the new Colorado Measures of Academic Success test.

Organizational Management Director Peggy Robertson said highlights of the 2014 results included seven out of 24 tests scoring at or above the state level, including third, fourth and fifth grade reading; fifth grade writing and third fourth and fifth grade math. The district achieved the highest proficient or advanced scores in its history on six tests – fourth, fifth, seventh and 10th grade reading as well as fourth and fifth grade math – with scores in fourth hand fifth grade reading and fifth grade reaching an all-time high score for the third year and a row. 

“We didn’t have as many scores improve this year but we still have a number of scores – we had 46 percent of our scores – improve this year in our proficient and advanced scores,” she said.

Robertson also pointed out that 21 percent of test scores stayed the same in 2014 and eight scores declined from 2013 but points to a trend that the district is seeing a trend of test scores improving over time.

 

Reading

Students met or exceeded the state’s percentage of students scoring proficient or advanced in the third, fourth and fifth grades. Fourth grade students reading scored increased 2.58 percentage points in 2014 to 70.55 percent of students scoring at or above state level, and was 3.1 percentage points above the state’s average. Test scores for the fifth grade increased by 1.56 percentage points to 71.64 percent, but remained slightly higher than the state average of 70.99 percent. Third grade test scores decreased by 1.53 percentage points to 72.05 percent, students remained slightly above the state average of 71.58.

Although seventh, eighth and 10th grade reading scores were lower than the state average, by 5.54, 5.69 and 5.05 percentage points, respectfully, they did improve over the district’s reading scores from 2013. Seventh grade scores increased 2.92 percentage points to 63.17 percent of students scoring proficient or advanced in reading, eighth grade scores increased 2.82 percentage points to 60.66 percent and 10th grade scores increased 0.85 to 63.85 in 2014.

Reading scores for students in the sixth, ninth, and 10th grades did not improve over the district’s 2013 scores and came in below the state average of students scoring proficient or advanced on the test. Sixth grade test scores decreased by 1.58 percentage points to 64.35 percent, which is 7.11 percentage points lower than the state average and ninth grade test scores decreased 1.94 percentage points to 60.58 percent, which is 5.57 percentage points lower than the state. 

 

Writing 

The district’s student’s did not fare as well with the writing portion of the TCAP, as fifth grade was the only grade to score at or above state level. The percentage of fifth graders who scored proficient or advance increased 0.74 percentage points from 2013 to 56.52 and scored 1.03 percentage points higher than the 55.49 percent state average.

Eighth grade writing scores improved by 1.30 percentage points in 2014 to 44.94 percent, however test scores remained 11.24 percentage points below the state average. Sixth and ninth grade scores stayed the same at 47 and 46 percent, respectfully but remained under the state averages by 9.68 and 7.6 percent, respectfully.

Writing scores for students in the third, fourth, seventh and 10th grades declined in 2014 and did not meet the state average. Scores for third grade students decreased 1.08 percentage points to 47.05 percent in 2014, 4.02 percentage points lower than the state average; fourth grade test scores decreased 4.23 percentage points to 50.95 percent, 0.76 percentage points lower than the state; seventh grade test scores decreased 1.14 percentage points to 52 percent, 8.87 percentage points lower than the state; and 10th grade writing scores decreased 2.45 to 35.47 percent, 13.09 percentage points lower than the state.

 

Math

Students met or exceeded state average in math in the third, fourth and fifth grades. Fourth and fifth grade math scores improved by 0.78 and 3.51 percentage points, respectfully, to 73.02 and 67.65 percent in 2014. Fourth grade scores were 1.47 percentage points higher than the state average of 71.55 percent and fifth grade scores were 3.02 percentage points higher than the state average of 64.63 percent. Third grade test scores not only remained the same at 72 percent from 2013 but also met the state average for 2014.

Although the number of students scoring proficient or advanced remained below the state average, math scores for students in the eighth grades improved while scores for students in seventh, ninth and 10th grades remained the same. Eighth grade test scores improved 0.64 percentage points from 2013 to 40.05 percent, 12.33 percentage points below the state average. Seventh grade math scores remained at 41 percent in 2014, ninth grade scores remained at 29 percent and tenth grade scores remained at 22 percent; 13.07, 9.91 and 10.99 percentage points below the state average, respectfully.

Sixth grade math scores decreased 3.1 percentage points to 49.77 percent in 2014, 11.29 percentage points below the state average of 61.06 percent.

The TCAP assessment was administered for the last time in 2014.  The new CMAS test is an online assessment that will be fully implemented this school year. CMAS assessments align with the new Colorado Academic Standards.