Eagle County students trail state averages in English language arts, math on CMAS tests | VailDaily.com

Eagle County students trail state averages in English language arts, math on CMAS tests

Local students remained relatively steady with last year's results in statewide standardized testing results. Colorado spends more than $20 million a year to Pearson to administer the tests. Eagle County's share is $244,000.

EAGLE — Coloradans pay an international testing company $20 million a year to learn that affluent students score better on statewide standardized tests, according to the Colorado Department of Education.

Local students remained about even with previous years in the Department of Education's annual Colorado Measures of Academic Success, CMAS, administered by Pearson Inc.

Over the course of the seven-year contract, Colorado will pay Pearson $135.7 million to administer statewide standardized testing. Eagle County Schools' share of that is $244,000 a year, according to the district's financials.

Local superintendent vows better results

As far as the test scores go, Eagle County Schools remained about even with last year, but trailed state averages in both English language arts and math.

Dr. Carlos Ramirez, superintendent of Eagle County Schools, said the district has some work to do.

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"Holding steady as a district is not our goal," Ramirez said. "Our strategic plan will help us address our needs and make the necessary adjustments to support all of our staff and students.

"Our learning community cares about the whole child and understands that a single test doesn't measure the whole child or the positive, nurturing cultures that exist in our schools. However, we have to do both — perform well on standardized tests and develop the whole student. We can … and we will."

The Colorado Department of Education released data for all 178 school districts and 1,800 schools earlier this month.

Slipping slightly

Eagle County's CMAS scores slipped in enough areas to drop the district from the highest rating — Performance — to the second-highest rating — Accredited with Improvement.

"We have a very serious challenge with the opportunity gap, the difference in performance between our affluent students and our less affluent students," Ramirez said. "We have a special community that always works together to help each other succeed. With that kind of spirit, we can close the opportunity gap and still have our top performers perpetually setting the bar higher."

Ramirez met with his leadership team and principals of individual schools that moved from a Performance rating to an Improvement rating to develop action plans.

Individual student performance results will be mailed to families, along with ways to use the data to help students.

"We ask parents to carefully review their student's results. Congratulate the positive and encourage them to do even better, and plan to work closely with your schools and teachers this year," said Philip Qualman, assistant superintendent of systems. "Know that we have new leadership, plus hundreds of dedicated teachers and support staff, all passionate about improving learning for the amazing kids in our community."

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vaildaily.com.

CMAS Test Results

Eagle County Schools

English language arts: 42.5 percent met or exceeded expectations versus 42.7 percent in 2017 (down 0.2 percent).

Math: 26.9 percent met or exceeded expectations versus 26.6 percent in 2017 (up 0.3 percent).

Statewide

English language arts: 44.5 percent met or exceeded expectations versus 42.3 percent in 2017 (up 2.2 percent).

Math: 34.1 percent met or exceeded expectations versus 32.8 percent in 2017 (up 1.3 percent).