TCAP scores reveal strengths, weaknesses of Routt County schools
August 8, 2012
Steamboat Springs — All three Routt County school districts can find something to like about their students’ performance on the inaugural Transitional Colorado Assessment Program, or TCAP.
Steamboat Springs’ third-graders posted record high scores on the reading portion of the annual standardized test.
All of Hayden’s third-graders were proficient or advanced in math.
South Routt Elementary School’s fourth- and fifth-grade students scored above the state average on the reading test.
But educators in the three districts also can point to weaknesses in the test scores.
The Colorado Department of Education on Wednesday released the scores of the test that temporarily has replaced the Colorado Student Assessment Program. The tests are similar, and educators across the state are using the latest test results to track the progress of their students compared to last year’s CSAP results.
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Students in Routt County took the test in March. The reading, writing and math portions of the TCAP are administered to students in third through 10th grades each year. Fifth-, eighth- and 10th-grade students take a science test, as well.
Third-graders in Steamboat Springs learned months ago how they helped make history when they posted their record high scores on the reading portion of the test.
At Strawberry Park Elementary School, 95 percent of third-graders scored proficient or advanced. At Soda Creek, 90 percent of third-graders reached the same level.
Their peers at Steamboat’s other campuses now can celebrate the fact that all grade levels across the district scored above the state average in all content areas.
"My overall takeaway of the data is good," Steamboat Curriculum Director Marty Lamansky said Wednesday. "We’re maintaining high standards. There is some room for us to grow and improve. We also need to look at next steps to go from a really good, high-quality district to being one of the top in the state."
Lamansky said the data show Steamboat’s freshmen and sophomores can improve on their math scores. He added that the math portion of the test is significantly more challenging than other content areas.
Like last year, Hayden Superintendent Mike Luppes called his district’s state standardized test scores a mixed bag.
"Obviously we’ve got some areas we’re very, very pleased with, and we’ve also got some areas we need to work on," he said.
He said his interpretation of the data showed growth at the elementary school and flatter scores at the secondary campuses.
He said the district had a consultant from Adams State University in Alamosa work on curriculum review with teachers in preperation for last school year.
"We would like to think that some of that work we did at the elementary started showing some positive signs in our TCAP scores," he said.
The South Routt School District saw strong performances in its elementary school reading scores.
But only fifth-, eighth- and 10th-grade students in the district scored above the state average in writing.
Superintendent Scott Mader said he expects such volatility in the scores every year.
"As you can see, we have some mixed results," he said. "In a small district like ours, we’re going to have some mixed results every year. It doesn’t take many students’ scores to take our scores way up or down."
He said the district has a lot of data to pore over as it prepares curriculum for next school year.
"As we always do, we’re going to analyze them and drill down and see what areas we need to improve on and see where we can do some interventions. We’ll also celebrate the scores we’ve done well on."
To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com