May 10, 2012

District third graders make record gains on reading tests

BRIGHTON – A record number of School District 27J third-grade students tested proficient and advanced on the 2012 Transitional Colorado Assessment Program test, according to unofficial data released by the Colorado Department of Education May 9.

The data shows that 76 percent of district third-graders tested at a proficient or advanced level in 2012, up from 72 percent in 2011. The results marked School District 27J’s highest level of proficient and advanced students since the testing began in 1998. It surpassed a previous high mark of 75 percent in 2009. It also marked the third consecutive year that 27J students have shown an overall improvement on the reading test. The School District surpassed the state average, which increased to 74 percent in 2012 from 73 percent in 2011.

Eight out of 10 district-managed elementary schools showed increases in proficient and advanced reading scores. The highest gain came at Northeast Elementary, which showed a 19 percentage-point increase (83 percent) from 64 percent in 2011. Second Creek Elementary increased 15 percentage points (81 percent) from 66 percent in 2011. South Elementary increased 10 percentage points (80 percent) from 70 percent in 2011.

“I am very proud of our students and staff for these outstanding results,” said 27J Superintendent Rod Blunck. “The Board of Education has taken the bold step to establish student achievement as the highest priority in our system. Given the economic challenges we have faced over the past several years, our students and teachers have risen to the task and have demonstrated that we can show results at a high level.” “This is just one measure of academic achievement,” added 27J Chief Academic Officer Kelly Corbett. “We’re pleased with the progress of our students. We’re excited for the future. We want to keep the momentum moving forward and keep doing good work.”

 A total of 1,267 district students took the February third-grade reading TCAP test in English and 18 district students took the Spanish version.

The TCAP test is designed to transition students and school districts from the former Colorado Student Assessment Program test. TCAP testing, which provides an overlap between the old Colorado Model Standards and the new Colorado Academic Standards, will be administered to students this year and in 2013. A new Colorado assessment test will be begin in 2014. It is expected to be an online assessment, which will allow for a faster return of results and allow educators to utilize the data in the same academic year.

 The Colorado Department of Education plans to release official third grade TCAP reading results along with scores for remaining TCAP and ACT tests in early August.