Aspen third-graders above average on standardized tests
ASPEN – Aspen third-graders once again scored above the state average on standardized reading tests.
According to preliminary data released Tuesday by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE), 86 percent of third-graders at Aspen Elementary School and Aspen Community School scored proficient or better on the Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP) reading test given in March.
The statewide average was 73 percent.
“I think the teachers were very happy with the test results for this group of students,” said Julia Roark, assistant superintendent for the Aspen public schools, adding that CSAP scores for other grades and subjects have not yet been released.
The 2011 score is down from the previous year, however, when 90 percent of third-graders scored proficient or better.
“Yes, we are slightly down this year from last; however, we test so few students that just a handful of student scores can result in a decrease,” said Aspen Superintendent John Maloy, noting there are only 136 third-graders in the district. “Of course, there are other variables (i.e., readiness, needs, demographics, pre-school) that may have an impact on testing results as well.”
“And you have to remember, as third-graders, this is the first year these children have taken this type of test,” Roark added.
In fact, Roark said Aspen students’ CSAP scores fluctuate yearly – averaging between 80 percent and 90 percent proficient or better – but are always above state averages.
It was a different story downvalley, where test scores mirrored the state average but were up across the board in the Roaring Fork Re-1 school district.
“Certainly, we were pleased with the increases in the scores all across the district,” Re-1 Superintendent Judy Haptonstall said. “We will be looking forward to the rest of the CSAP scores coming in at the end of July.”
In Re-1, 73 percent of the 362 third-grade students tested in March scored proficient or better on their CSAPs, compared to 65 percent for the district’s third-graders in 2010. Third-grade reading scores improved at all four Roaring Fork Re-1 elementary schools compared to last year.
Glenwood Springs Elementary School, which was placed on a priority improvement plan by the state after the 2009-10 school year, saw an increase in third-grade students scoring proficient or advanced from 46 percent last year to 62 percent this year.
Sopris Elementary School in Glenwood Springs saw an overall increase from 79 percent reading proficiency last year to 83 percent this year.
Crystal River Elementary School in Carbondale had an increase in third-grade reading proficiency from 55 percent to 76 percent.
Basalt Elementary School saw its overall third-grade proficiency score increase from 66 percent to 69 percent.
The number of third-grade students taking the CSAP reading test at two charter schools in Carbondale is somewhat smaller; 14 at the Re-1 charter Carbondale Community School, and 22 at the state charter Ross Montessori school. Both schools had 100 percent of their students score proficient or advanced, according to the CDE data.
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Perhaps it’s because we are in the abbreviated days of winter and I instinctively know that the sun is shining down-under. But every January I go through a nostalgic period where Australian wine dominates my mind.