Drop in test scores not the whole story
Dolores superintendent reports student successes
I would like to provide some clarity to last week's article titled, "Scores drop at Dolores schools."
The chart posted in the middle of the article titled, "Dolores TCAP Scores" is inaccurate. These data points are student growth scores, not achievement scores. Student growth data is reported for students in grades fourth through 10th, and the data measures the amount of academic growth our students have gained from year to year.
Growth scores of the 50th percentile, or higher, are in the targeted range and are cause for celebration. These scores represent student populations whose learning, when measured using state standards, has exceeded expectations for the year based on the average scores of all the students in Colorado. Student growth data are important, but can be difficult to digest. Typically, we discuss and celebrate achievement scores.
On our District Website at www.doloresschool.org you can view achievement scores from the past several years. The data are also found on the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) website at www.cde.state.co.us under "School View".
Here are some highlights:
DOLORES ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Fifth-graders exceeded the state average for proficient and advanced in reading.
Third-graders and fifth-graders increased the percentage of students scoring advanced in reading with third-graders exceeding the state average for the percentage of students scoring advanced.
Third-graders and fifth-graders had fewer students scoring partially proficient than the state.
Fourth- and fifth-graders met the state average for the percentage of students scoring proficient and advanced. Fifth-graders exceeded the state average.
Fourth-graders improved their writing scores compared with the previous year.
Both cohort groups (third to fourth and fourth to fifth) increased the percentage of students scoring proficient or advanced compared with the previous year.
Fifth-graders exceeded the percentage of students scoring advanced.
Math achievement: Fifth-graders exceeded the state average in the percentage of students scoring proficient and advanced.
Math growth: Fourth-graders increased the percentage of students categorized as improving compared with the previous year.
Science: Fifth-graders exceeded the state average in the percentage of students scoring proficient and advanced.
DOLORES MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOLS
Student achievement has increased on more than half of the content area tests in the Secondary: seventh-grade writing, seventh-grade math, eighth-grade reading, eighth-grade writing, eighth-grade math, eighth-grade science, 10th-grade reading, 10th-grade math, and 10th-grade science.
Students beat the state average in 11 of 17 tested areas.
Students have outpaced the state in all categories:
Catch-up and keep-up.
Drop-out rates and completion rates.
Dropout rate, only 1 percent.
(This information, Dolores Performance Frameworks, can be found on our website)
I hope that this information and explanation will help to clarify Dolores Student TCAP data and the misleading newspaper article.
The teachers, principals and I dig deeply into this data every fall, before the first day of school and weekly during Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) to assess our students' strengths and needs. We also assess our curriculum and instructional strategies using this data and other data such as the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA), which is given three times per year. All of this data helps us to make informed educational decisions that continually improve the high quality learning environments here in our Dolores Schools.
If you have questions about TCAP data, ask the professional teachers, principals or me.