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Eagle County students make no gains

Cindy Ramunno

Local scores generally hovered around state average, and officials with the Eagle County School District say that’s not enough.

“The 2002 CSAP scores are average, and that isn’t what we are all about in this district,” said John Brendza, assistant superintendent. “These scores do not reflect the abilities of our students or the capabilities of our staff. We are committed to improving these scores in the future, and this is the bottom line.”

Results of the 2002 testing program for fourth through 10th grades were released Wednesday. This year’s CSAP testing occurred in February through March of 2002.



Results from the testing show Eagle County students in fifth, seventh, ninth and 10th grades generally mirror their counterparts statewide in reading, writing and math.

Eagle County’s fourth-, sixth- and eight-graders even outscored their counterparts in the tested areas; 10th-graders, however, scored lower than the state average in the areas of reading and math.



Brendza said that even before this year’s results were announced the district had launched many programs aimed at improving student achievement, pointing to several ambitious initiatives currently under way. For example, the district has launched a new performance-pay program – modeled after the Milken Family Foundation’s Teacher Advancement Program – in five of its schools, beginning this fall.

Additionally, he said, in an effort to give teachers relevant training to enhance their classroom performance, the district has scheduled six early-release, in-service days next year. On those days, students will go home early and teachers will report to specific training sessions.

“In grades kindergarten through eighth, our efforts with reading and writing are headed in the right direction, as evidenced by these test results. We are making progress there and we have a good foundation to build from,” said Gary Rito, director of curriculum, instruction and staff development. “However, we have some concerns about our high school test results, and we need to concentrate a lot of attention on improving instruction at that level.”



Rito said the district will focus work on writing and math this year.

Colorado’s secretary of education, Rod Paige, visited Eagle County last month. He said no state has advanced further than Colorado.

“Nonetheless, we must be under no illusions,” Paige said. “These are but the beginning steps in the long journey of lifting achievement for all children. At the state level, we have no dramatic gains to report. We see steady progress over several years, but we still have far to go.”

Results from 2002 CSAP show:

– In third grade, students in the Eagle County School District outscored their counterparts across Colorado in the area of reading; they scored below the state average, however, in the area of writing.

– In fourth grade, district students outscored their counterparts across Colorado in the areas of reading and writing.

– In fifth grade, district students generally mirrored statewide performance in reading, writing and math.

– In sixth grade, district students outscored their state counterparts in all areas tested.

– In seventh grade, district students generally mirrored state results in math and reading and scored slightly lower than the state average in writing.

– In eighth grade, district students scored significantly higher than the state average in all areas tested.

– In ninth grade, district students generally mirrored their counterparts statewide in the tested areas of reading, writing and math.

– In 10th grade, district students generally mirrored the state results in math and scored lower than the state average in the areas of reading and writing.

– Source: Eagle County School District


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