Mancos improves reading scores

86 percent of third-graders proficient or advanced

A greater percentage of Mancos third-graders met or exceeded expectations in reading on the state assessments this year compared with last year.

About 85.7 percent of the third-graders - or 18 of the 21 students - were proficient or advanced proficient in reading. One of the students was not counted because of confusion during testing. Had that student been counted, Elementary Principal Mike Lister believes that the percentage would have been higher.

Last year, 78.8 percent of class - 26 of the 33 students - were proficient or advanced proficient in reading.

Lister attributed the higher percentage of success to the work of a reading interventionist that was able to work with individual students for a half hour at a time on skills.

The READ Act or the Colorado Reading to Ensure Academic Development Act, which passed in 2012, funded the interventionist dedicated to the elementary school.

He also attributed the success to the use of the accelerated reader program.

Students take computerized quizzes on the books and each quiz measures their comprehension and vocabulary.

"The AR program is very helpful in providing more practice for students to learn," he said.

Third-grade reading scores on the Transitional Colorado Assessment Program (TCAP) were released before any other score.

Reading proficiency in third grade is considered a key benchmark. After third grade, students are expected to utilize reading skills to find information and learn content.

"We want every child at grade level at third grade," Lister said.

The READ Act will further reinforce this by holding back children with weak reading skills in third grade at the end of the 2015-2016 school year.

The TCAP will be replaced by the Colorado Measures of Academic Success next year, which is meant to be more in line with the Common Core standards adopted by many states.

This year, Mancos students took the both the TCAP and the CMAS as well as the Measures of Academic Progress and spent between 5 to 6 weeks in testing, Lister said.

The Measures of Academic Progress is used locally and the results are available immediately for teachers to use.

Next year, TCAP will be fully replaced by CMAS, a fully computerized test, and students will spend less time testing.