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Colo CSAP scores largely flat

Burt Hubbard and Nancy Mitchell
Rocky Mountain News

Results released today of Colorado’s latest annual student exams show more than two-thirds of pupils statewide are reading at grade level while slightly more than half are there in writing and math.

Less than half of the students tested this past spring were proficient in science.

Gov. Bill Ritter presided over this morning’s press conference announcing the results of the 12th annual Colorado Student Assessment Program.



Among other highlights of the 2008 scores:

Results were up in 11 of the 24 tests given in reading, writing and math in grades 3 through 10. Scores were down in seven tests and unchanged in six.



Reading and math scores were generally up, with more grades seeing declines in writing.

Combining all grades, 67.8 percent of test-takers achieved proficiency in reading ” considered grade level. In writing, 53.4 percent were proficient or above and, in math, 53.2 percent achieve proficiency.

On the state science exams, given only in grades 5, 8 and 10, 45.8 percent of students scored proficient or above.



Older grades continued to produce the lowest scores. Fewer than half of the state’s ninth- and tenth-graders were proficient in writing and math.

Today’s overall CSAP results differ little from those announced in 2007. Less than a percentage point separates the 2007 and 2008 results in reading, writing and math.

In fact, little movement has been seen in statewide scores since at least 2001.

But state leaders this morning unveiled a different way of using the results, announcing Colorado’s new “Growth Model.”

The new method calculates how much students are progressing from year to year on the statewide exams, rather than simply saying whether they achieved proficiency or not.

Parents will see the difference in the CSAP reports they receive this fall.

That growth model is expected to remain part of a new state testing system now being developed as part of Ritter’s education plan.

Called the Colorado Achievement Plan for Kids, or CAP4K, it mandates revising the state’s academic standards and the tests used to measure whether students are meeting them.

A timeline from state Education Commission Dwight Jones’ office sets a deadline of December 2010 for the adoption of new tests. The tests are to be in schools by 2012.


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