On August 16, the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) released student score reports from this past spring's statewide assessments, including tests in English language arts, math, science and social studies.
In Colorado, statewide assessments are taken in the spring by students from third to 11th grade, including the Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS), PSAT and SAT. The assessments are aligned with the Colorado Academic Standards, which are expectations of what students should know and be able to do at the end of each grade. (See more resources about CMAS
For ASD schools, there were a number of high points, including a general trend of improvement from one year to the next. Says Principal Justin Cowan, "I am incredibly pleased with the growth our students are making. Three years ago, we had a baseline of being in the 19th percentile in math growth.…This year, increasing for the third year in a row, we're at the 64th percentile —14 points above the state!" (Check out more details about PSES test score results
For students at the high school level, test results also showed growth and identified areas for further improvement. "Through the hard work of the staff and students, [our students] were above the state average growth percentiles in both Evidence Based Reading and Writing, and Math." (Check out more details about PSHS test score results.)
The assessments align to the content taught in the classroom every day and are designed to measure real world skills, like critical thinking, problem-solving and writing -- skills that will help students prepare for success in college and careers. The tests are the only common measurement for all students across Colorado and the only way parents can gauge how their students are doing compared to other students in their school, district and state.
Keep in mind, these tests are only one measure of a child’s achievement. Classroom grades and teacher feedback, along with the test scores, can provide parents with a more complete picture of their student’s academic progress.
The score reports include information that explains whether a student is meeting grade-level expectations in each tested content area and whether he or she is on track for the next grade level. The reports show where students are succeeding or where they may need more practice and support. Reports can help identify what additional supports could help students succeed in the classroom or where to focus learning time at home.
CDE has created tools to help parents understand the tests and what to expect for the school year. Handouts in both English and Spanish include FAQs about the tests, a guide to understanding the CMAS score reports and explainers about the SAT and PSAT. All of the resources can be found at http://www.cde.state.co.us/communications/resourcesforparents.