Eagle County reading scores near statewide average
May 9, 2012
EAGLE, Colorado – Almost three-quarters of local third-graders are proficient or advanced in reading, the same as the statewide average, according to this year’s statewide standardized tests.
The Transitional Colorado Assessment Program, the replacement for the CSAP, found that 64.5 percent of this year’s third-graders are proficient; 9.1 percent are advanced.
The local results are nearly identical to last year’s results, and are about the same as the statewide average.
Across Colorado, 74.5 of all students tested proficient or advanced. Locally, 73.9 percent of students were proficient or advanced, according to data released Wednesday by the Colorado Department of Education.
Brush Creek Elementary is again the top local elementary school, with 93 percent of its students scoring proficient or advanced. Red Sandstone Elementary School is at 87 percent and the Eagle County Charter Academy is at 86 percent.
Homestake Peak School showed the largest increase, up from 35 percent last year to 62 percent this year.
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The TCAP is the first look at this group of students, said Dr. Sandra Smyser, school superintendent.
Six schools matched last year’s scores: Avon, Brush Creek, Edwards, Homestake Peak, June Creek and Red Sandstone. Four were down slightly: Eagle County Charter, Gypsum Elementary and Eagle Valley, said Heather Eberts, the school district’s curriculum director.
Third-graders who don’t read proficiently are four times more likely to drop out or flunk out of high school, studies say.
One in six children who does not read proficiently in third grade does not graduate from high school on time, a rate four times greater than the rate for proficient readers, according the report “Double Jeopardy: How Poverty and Third-Grade Reading Skills Influence High School Graduation” commissioned by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
Once children fall behind in school, they tend to keep falling further and further behind until they drop out, the study found.
The study followed 3,975 students born between 1979 and 1989, most of whom finished high school by age 19. The highest numbers of drop-outs were among those who didn’t read well in third grade and those who had lived in poverty. Black and Hispanic students were disproportionately represented in both categories, the study found. They were twice as likely as white children not to graduate on time.
Local English-speaking third-graders scored 89 percent proficient or advanced. That group includes non-English speakers who have attained fluent English proficiency.
Fifty-two percent of local English language learners – students who are not native English speakers – scored proficient or advanced on the TCAP reading test, up from 50 percent last year.
Local teachers use real-time data about students’ strengths and weaknesses, then focus on them for the following month, Smyser said.
“Our work to continue closing the achievement gap this year definitely supports the systems we have in place for both our teachers and our students,” Smyser said. “With more Spanish-speaking students attaining fluent English proficiency each year and incredible programs in place at our schools, we will continue to strive to push all of our students, both high-achieving and low-achieving.”
Across all grade levels, 63 percent of Eagle County students are English-speaking, while 37 percent are English language learners. Statewide, 14 percent of students English language learners.
June Creek Elementary School increased its score to 60 percent this year, up from 49 percent last year. Avon Elementary School and Red Hill Elementary School scored 73 percent and 71 percent respectively.
This year, 549 local students took the TCAP test.