CSAP scores baffle principal

Same students passed different proficiency test in March

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— The Colorado Student Assessment Program for high school students is only one test out of many, Steamboat Springs High School Principal David Schmid said.

Schmid said high school students take about six tests through the course of a school year and the CSAP is one that needs a more in-depth review.

The principal called the CSAP math results that showed just 18 percent of 10th-graders proficient or above "somewhat arbitrary."

"We'll have to look further into what proficient means and the validity of the test," Schmid said.

Tenth grade math scores were not pleasing to Schmid, although he said those same students took a standardized math assessment in March and scored above average.

Steamboat High School was not the only school that did not fare well on the math exam. Overall, 86 percent of Colorado 10th-graders failed to meet the proficiency mark.

Students are scored individually at an advanced proficient, proficient, partially proficient or unsatisfactory level. These scores are used to look at individual growth and to observe a trend in the overall performance of the state.

Schmid said test results give reason to look further into the test.

"The same group of students took the Terra Nova (in March) and scored 77 percent proficient," Schmid said. "I don't know how to figure it really."

Schmid said he hopes the state will give the school an itemized list of questions the students answered incorrectly and the school will go from there.

CSAP does not assess whether a student performed at a particular grade level, it determines how he or she performed against the standard, which is defined as 50 percent on national or standardized third-grade tests.

Because these students also take college preparatory tests, they may not be as concerned with the CSAP, Schmid said.

"I think our kids tried really hard," Schmid said.

Although the math scores were a let down, Schmid said he's happy with the reading scores. Not one student scored in the unsatisfactory category in the 10th grade reading assessment.

Tenth-grade students scored 81 percent proficient or above, compared to the state's 63 percent.

Schmid said he would also like to see improvements in the writing test scores.

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