Hayden School District officials are struggling to sort out a scoring glitch that resulted in big decreases in CSAP reading and writing scores for fourth- and fifth-graders.
Twelve students in each of those two grades reportedly had no score for the reading and writing portions of the Colorado Student Assessment Program tests. Those "no scores" are considered not proficient scores, Superintendent Mike Luppes said.
But that complication aside, there were drops in scores for various grade levels in various testing areas.
For instance, the eighth-grade class was 75 percent proficient or advanced in 2004 in reading, but as ninth-graders, only 50 percent of those students were proficient or advanced.
Troy Zabel, principal for the middle and high schools, said he expected some negative trends in test scores, in part because of the "tremendous changes" made during the 2004-05 school year.
Now that those changes have been made, the district can focus on working with students to improve CSAP test scores. Several changes for the 2005-06 school year include providing more classes at the high school level, such as an additional math seminar class, a more extensive tutoring program that could become mandatory and discussions about how to encourage students to take the tests seriously.
Luppes also said that scores on the various tests were something of a "mixed bag."
The district is pleased with third- and fourth-grade math scores, he said. This past school year was the first time that those grades were given a math test.
The district's emphasis will continue to be "trying to reach these kids that, for whatever reason, are not achieving at the academic (level) that'd we'd like to see them achieving at," Luppes said.
The issue of why some students had no score still is being investigated, Luppes said. What is obvious is that the mistake had a big effect, because 60 percent of fifth-graders and 46 percent of fourth-graders were not given a score.
In turn, only 42 percent of fourth-graders and 30 percent of fifth-graders had reading scores of proficient or advanced, and only 23 percent of fourth-graders and 10 percent of fifth-graders had writing scores of proficient or advanced.
There were several "no scores" in other grades, as well, but not to the extent of the fourth and fifth grades, Zabel said.
All students in fourth and fifth grades who were given no score turned in completed test booklets, Luppes said. Luppes has learned from working with state officials that the students' biographical data had errors. For instance, 15 children in those grades were classified as using sign language, which is not true.
"Some of these are just wacky," Luppes said. "There's no way that we coded it that way.
"We have no idea, at this stage, what has happened."
Luppes said he wants to figure out what happened and how to correct it, if possible.
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