Steamboat students' CSAP scores beat state average

Results mixed in Hayden, South Routt school districts

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2010 CSAP scores

— At each school and in each grade, the Steamboat Springs School District exceeded state averages in the 2010 Colorado Student Assessment Program, according to the test results released Tuesday.

But that doesn’t mean the district is satisfied, Superintendent Shalee Cunningham said. The district showed growth at some grade levels in reading, writing and math, but its scores decreased at others.

“We’re feeling very good with our scores,” she said. “With that said, we do see some gaps, some things we need to work to work on.”

CSAPs test third- through 10th-grade students annually in reading, writing and math, and in science during fifth, eighth and 10th grades. Students are evaluated by the percentage who score at proficient or advanced levels.

For example, at least 80 percent of Steamboat third- through eighth-graders were proficient or advanced in reading — including 92 percent in the eighth grade, which actually decreased from 94 percent when those students were in the seventh grade the previous year. Statewide, students in those grades scored between 66 and 72 percent proficient or advanced.

Cunningham said the district’s administration team has been evaluating the results to determine how to dedicate resources to students to increase achievement levels.

Hayden School District Su­­per­intendent Mike Luppes said teachers would evaluate student scores when they start returning to work next week — Hay­den doesn’t begin the school year until Sept. 7, after the South Routt and Steamboat school districts start Aug. 24 and 25, respectively.

Luppes said teachers would work on ways to dedicate resources to improve the district’s scores, which were down slightly from previous years.

The Hayden district’s third- through eighth-grade scores showed increases and decreases in reading and writing but declined in each grade in math. The math scores were as low as 24 percent of students in seventh and 10th grades scoring at proficient or advanced levels.

“We’ve had some years we’ve had exceptional scores, some years we’ve had average scores and years we’ve had below-average scores,” Luppes said. “Some score above where they are. Some score below where they are. It’s a snapshot in time, but a good indicator of where the kids are going.”

Luppes said he was pleased with the scores from third-graders, who take the tests for the first time. Hayden third-graders scored proficient or advanced at 83 percent in reading, 71 percent in writing and 88 percent in math.

“We hope that’s a sign of things to come because they’re the first full-day kindergarten to come through,” Luppes said.

After making tremendous strides in the 2009 CSAPs, South Routt took a step backward in all three subjects in most grades. On the reading test, only 10th-graders, in which 92 percent of students scored proficient or advanced, an increase from 83 percent the previous year, and sixth-graders saw improvement.

South Routt student scores increased in only one grade each in writing and math, almost the exact opposite of the progress showed in 2009.

“We made such phenomenal gains last year,” Superintendent Scott Mader said. “I could have predicted last year that we couldn’t keep up those kinds of gains. That would have been unsustainable. We’re going to see some ups and downs throughout the years here, but our goal is to go steadily up over the years. I think we’ll be able to do that.”

Mader said so much of the focus last year in the district was cutting the budget to address reduced state funding and increased costs. He said that detracted from the district’s objective of increasing student achievement but that he doesn’t want that to be an excuse.

He said this year’s scores wouldn’t deter the district from reaching its goal of becoming “accredited with distinction” during the next three years.

The state in December will release school and district performance reports, which will illustrate how well districts prepare students for post-secondary educations or the work force. The reports will include data from the Colorado Growth Model, CSAP and ACT scores, and what schools are doing to close achievement gaps and improve graduation rates.

Schools and districts receive grades, the highest being “accredited with distinction.”

“We still have that goal and believe we can achieve that,” Mader said.

Comments

Scott Wedel 4 years, 1 month ago

Come on, is it really that hard when given something as clear as numbers proficient by grade to actually mention the numbers and the state average?

Hayden's 24% proficient in HS math sounds like an absolute disaster except that it appears to be close to the state average. But the article never mentions the state average and when SB and Soroco have their 80+% proficient 3rd graders, it gives a misleading impression that Hayden at 24% is doing a real bad job.

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Scott Wedel 4 years, 1 month ago

Okay, they've now attached a chart showing all the scores and the state averages.

BTW, the way the chart compares scores is comparing apples to oranges because it shows this year's scores with last year's scores of the previous grade (ie this year's 10th graders has last year's scores for 9th graders in parenthesis), but the test difficulty for each grade (state average score) is not the same.

So it may appear real bad that 10th grade math went from 45 to 24, but the test difficulty (state average) goes from 71 at 3rd grade to 30 at 10th grade.

SB parents should feel good that the results are well above state average. Soroco appears to be above average with issues in elementary school writing (but is good in reading). Hayden appears to be slightly below average and to have issues with math instruction with many grades below state average and some that are well below. The 24% at 10th grade is not so bad because state average is 30, but 24% at 7th grade when state average is 49% looks like a real problem.

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max huppert 4 years, 1 month ago

Scott I have never seen you eat a apple or an orange.

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jimmmmmm 4 years, 1 month ago

Well done Steamboat teachers, parents, and students! Keep up the hard work.

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Scott Wedel 4 years, 1 month ago

Max, Well, then you have not been paying close enough attention because I am pretty sure I have eaten apple slices in your presence. Though, I am actually a tomato person and I'll happily eat a whole tomato instead of either an orange or apple.

I think the most impressive results is SB HS math scores. While 60% proficient is not great, it should be recognized that the standards actually expects fairly decent math skills. Thus, the average state score is only 30% so SB is doing far better than average. That suggests to me they are not letting kids say "math is hard" and avoid taking good HS algebra and geometry classes. But instead is showing the kids that yes they can do well at math.

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