Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Adams 14 CSAP results: overall student performance lags

COMMERCE CITY (August 10, 2010): Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP) scores released on August 10, 2010, by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) show that Adams 14’s overall test scores declined by 2.2%.

“We are disappointed with any decline in overall student performance,” said Superintendent Sue Chandler, “and we are redoubling our efforts to improve the quality of instruction in all Adams 14 schools.” Adams 14 students made solid gains at the middle school level, where eighth grade scores improved significantly at Adams City, Hanson and Kearney Middle Schools. These three middle schools posted gains in 12 of 12 eighth grade tests.

Adams 14 is in the midst of comprehensive system reform, and research suggests the District should expect some decrease in scores in the change process. Changing teaching practice is like taking up a new hobby or sport; it takes time to master new skills. This phenomenon is called an implementation dip.

While the District is disappointed with the overall decline in scores, District and school administrators affirm their commitment to continuing educational improvements in 2010-11. “We are at a point where these small annual gains aren’t going to get us to our goal,” said Chandler, “and now is the time to strenghten our system and increase our expectations so that 80% of our students are proficient by 2014.” Chandler acknowledged that last year was a difficult year in the first phase of implementing a new strategic plan. “We made a lot of changes last year, and while we’re still in transition, much of our data shows that we’re on the road to academic success,” reinforced Chandler.

With the statewide move to the Colorado Growth Model, Adams 14 is looking more closely at how students grow each year. “We are still looking at overall proficiency of students,” said Chief Academic Officer Lynn Heintzman, “but now we also look at value added by a teacher or school.” That value added is called growth. Using growth data validates why schools exist – to help students grow academically and improve their lives.

According to the Colorado Department of Education, the Colorado Growth Model indicates how much academic progress students are making based on their CSAP scores. For Adams 14, the goal is for every student to make at least one year’s growth in a year’s time. Schools receive a rating of Low, Typical or High for overall student growth.

“Because our test scores have been below the state average every year,” said Heintzman, “our schools need to make high growth. That is how we will catch up and reach our goal.” Kearney Middle School and Community Leadership Academy are the only Adams 14 schools to make high growth this year. “We have a lot of work to do,” added Heintzman.

CSAP scores are now being looked at in two ways (proficiency status and growth), and both scores are used to make adjustments to the educational program Adams 14 provides for every student. “Test scores are important to students and parents, because results let parents know if schools are performing and growing each year,” said Superintendent Chandler.

“Our strategy makes effective instruction the focus of our work,” added Superintendent Chandler. Through effective classroom teaching, collaboration and data use, Adams 14 will make further progress toward its achievement goals. “Students must know what they are learning and why; and on top of that, they must have great teaching from an engaging teacher,” said Chandler. “We believe this fundamental approach will result in long term growth of all Adams 14 children.”

In December 2010, the state will publish new performance reports called School Performance Frameworks. These reports will provide a comprehensive picture of how well Colorado schools are preparing students for success, and the reports will include growth model data, CSAP and ACT test results, graduation rates and other measures.


Alsup Elementary -8.18 Low

Central Elementary -2.87 Typical

Dupont Elementary -3.10 Low

Kemp Elementary -5.25 Typical

Monaco Elementary -3.62 Low

Rose Hill Elementary -8.03 Low

Community Leadership Academy +7.47 High

Hanson PreK-8 School +7.86 Typical

Adams City Middle +0.96 Typical

Kearney Middle -2.25 High

Adams City High -2.20 Low

Lester Arnold High -3.75 Typical

District Increase/Decrease -2.20 Low

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