Aspen students stay ahead of the class | AspenTimes.com

Aspen students stay ahead of the class

Michael McLaughlin
The Aspen Times

The Aspen School District continued its streak of testing success with another strong showing in last winter's statewide assessment tests. The school district's overall test scores remained solid, with the district posting numbers ranging from 7 to 28 percent higher than the state average.

"We're one of the top five school districts statewide," said Julia Roark, the district's assistant superintendent. "Our scores were high, but we never want to become complacent. Throughout our district, from the teachers to the school-board members, you'll find we have higher expectations."

Those numbers translate into the Colorado Department of Education bestowing on the school district the honor of "accredited with distinction," meaning the district meets or exceeds statewide attainment on certain performance indicators. The performance frameworks measure four key performance indicators as the measures of educational success: academic achievement, academic longitudinal growth, academic gaps and postsecondary and work-force readiness.

The Education Department's website lists test results back to 2010. In each year, the Aspen School District earned the honor of being accredited with distinction.

"We're very happy with our district results," Roark said. "We receive a lot of support from the Aspen community. They all should be proud."

The Transitional Colorado Assessment Program is Colorado's standards-based assessment designed to provide a picture of student performance to schools, districts, educators, parents and the community, according to the Education Department's website. The primary purpose of the assessment program is to determine the level at which Colorado students meet the Colorado Model Content Standards in the content areas assessed.

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The program will continue to assess the same content areas and grades as the Colorado Student Assessment Program: math, reading and writing in grades three through 10. Science will be assessed in fifth, eighth and 10th grades.

Writing and math will continue as focus areas for the Aspen School District. The 2013-14 district performance plan calls for continued implementation of recently adopted math and writing curriculum, aligned with new academic standards.

While writing results remained the same or improved when compared to 2012, the performance of Hispanics, English-language learners and students with disabilities decreased overall (with the exception of reading and writing for English-language students).

When broken down by gender, female students saw increased numbers in all subjects, while males decreased slightly in math and science.

2013 Overall Average Aspen Colorado

Reading 86% 70%

Writing 74% 54%

Math 72% 57%

Science 69% 50%

(Results are from testing in Feb. of 2013. The scores shown indicate the percentage of students that tested at or above the Colorado Model Content Standards.)