Student growth is consistently steady across Delta County, according to the findings of the 2014 Transitional Colorado Assessment Program (TCAP) and Colorado Growth Model results released last week.
The Colorado Growth Model shows how individual students (and groups of students) progress from year to year toward state standards.
Each student’s progress is compared to the progress of other students in the state to determine whether students are on track to catch up, keep up or move up through achievement levels — and those that are lagging behind.
The state median growth percentile for any grade is 50, and that’s the target for Delta County Joint School District #50. “Our goal is 50 percent or higher, and we’re right at the 50 percent mark,” said assistant superintendent Kurt Clay.
Across the state, fewer students made adequate growth this year compared to last year.
As for student assessments, Clay said the results reveal some inconsistencies, particularly as students transition from elementary to middle school, and from middle to high school. “Our high school results are higher than they’ve ever been, but we have some work to do in the middle school area. That will be one of our focuses. We’ll also be addressing the math piece.”
The percentage of Delta County students scoring proficient or advanced in math fell short of state averages in grades three, six and nine.
In writing, Delta County students exceeded state averages in six out of eight categories. They did even better in reading, surpassing state averages in all grade levels but the third grade.
At Garnet Mesa Elementary School in Delta, students met or exceeded state averages in all nine assessment areas. “That’s a first for Garnet Mesa, so I’m definitely proud of our teachers, students and the support parents have given to help them succeed.”
Last spring was the last round of TCAP testing. This year school districts across the state are moving to the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), which was developed by a coalition of states working together to develop a set of assessments that measures whether students are on track to be successful in college and their careers. The assessments are aligned with the new, more rigorous Common Core State Standards and will be administered online.
Clay said there are two pieces — an application test that’s administered mid-year and a summative piece that’s taken at the end of the year.
Because the PARCC assessment is administered online, computer skills will be extremely important. “We’re anxious about what they’re going to tell us about how well our kids are prepared,” Clay said. At the high school level, for example, students will be required to extract data from reading passages, then write and support their response. Keyboarding and navigation skills will be as critical as they move back and forth between the reading passages and their evidence-based responses.
To assess student, and technological, readiness the school district piloted the PARCC assessments in some areas. “We’re feeling more comfortable having been able to do that,” Clay said.
This year’s TCAP results can be found on page B6. More detailed data is available at http://www.cde.state.co.us/assessment/CoAssess-DataAndResults.asp or http://www.schoolview.org/ColoradoGrowthModel.asp.