Grand County schools’ CSAP scores a mixed bag
July 31, 2008
The most recent Colorado Student Assessment Program test results are in, and both East and West Grand school districts either held their own compared with last year or improved, with a few exceptions.
Results show that East Grand School District students scored higher than the state average in 23 of 27 tests in math, reading, writing and science. The third, fourth, fifth, sixth and ninth grades performed above the state standard in each of the test categories.
“With the initial overview of the scores, we are above the state average in all but four of the testing areas,” said East Grand Superintendent Nancy Karas. “We will be looking at scores at a much deeper level once the staff returns to school in late August. We need the teachers in the room as we drill down to determine what the scores are really telling us.”
The district performed best in reading, with each grade performing higher than the state average. Its scores also improved in the math, writing and reading categories.
In the reading category, the eighth-graders performed the highest at 13 points above the state average. The district’s scores went up 14 points overall from last year.
The district scored the lowest in math. The third through sixth grades, and ninth and 10th grades still performed above the state average. The seventh and eighth grades scored lower than the state average. As a whole, the district’s points in math were up by nine from the previous year.
Third- through ninth-grade scores were higher than the state average in writing, and the 10th grade missed the average by one point. The third and sixth grades scored 12 points above the average. The district performed three points higher overall in writing scores than the year before.
In the science category, the fifth and 10th grades scored above the state average, and the eighth grade scored below it. The fifth grade was 13 points above the average, while the eighth grade was five points below.
Students will continue to work hard in each of the subjects, Karas said.
“We are constantly striving to raise scores in reading, writing, and math. These skills are essential for student success in the future,” she said. “We will monitor the changes made to the science standards and look to adjust our instruction accordingly.”
Karas said she is pleased with the improvements made in sixth and 10th grade math, third and sixth grade writing, and third, sixth, and eighth grade reading.
“We need to spend time looking at every child and how they recorded growth for the past year of school,” Karas added. “Those are the scores that really count ” the scores of the individual students.”
West Grand scores
West Grand School District Superintendent Jeff Perry says the district’s CSAP test scores have improved in some subjects, while other areas need work.
“We did about the same as we did last year,” Perry said. “Our reading scores were pretty good … The writing is going to be an issue that we’re going to have to focus on a great deal … Math is still something we need to work on.”
The district’s fourth and ninth grades performed above the state standard in all categories, while the fifth grade performed below it in each of the tests and showed an across-the-board decline compared with last year.
West Grand students scored the highest in reading. The fourth grade, and the sixth through 10th grades scored higher than the state average. While the third grade was one point away from the state average and the fifth grade was 11 points away. The 10th grade had the strongest reading score at 27 points above the state’s average.
In addition, the students performed higher than they did in the reading category last year, with an increase of 39 points.
The district performed the weakest in the writing portion of the tests. The third, and fifth through eighth grades performed lower than the state average. While the fourth, ninth and 10th grade class scored above the average. The ninth and 10th grades scored about 20 points higher than the state average in both of these categories. The fifth grade performed the lowest and was nearly 20 points below the average.
However, the district’s aggregate writing scores increased 17 points from last year.
In the math department, the scores were more scattered. The third, fourth, sixth and 10th grades performed above the state average, while the fifth, seventh, eighth and ninth grades scored lower. The 10th grade did the best, with 10 points above the state average, while the eighth and ninth grades were 12 points below. As a whole, the district dropped 9 points in the math scores from 2007.
In the science department, the fifth and eighth grades scored lower than the state standard, and the 10th grade scored above. The eighth grade’s scores dropped 20 points, while the 10th grades scores went 26 points up. However, the grades overall dropped 4 points from last year.
“We think we made some progress in some areas, but at the same point and time we are not content with the scores,” Perry said. “It’s not necessarily about the scores but about the kids not having the necessary skills to perform at a proficient level.”
He said once they can raise the academic scores, then the test scores will come. The district has been focusing a great deal on reading, and now they will bring extra attention to the writing skills, he said.
“We will provide staff development in the area of improving writing instruction,” Perry added. “That’s going to be our primary focus this year.”