Downvalley district: CSAP results misleading
August 2, 2006
Carbondale schools continue to perform below the state average, according to Colorado State Assessment Program scores released yesterday.But Roaring Fork School District officials say the data doesn’t paint an accurate picture, because significant gains among some groups of students are hidden within that data.Carbondale’s Sopris Elementary School saw its overall reading proficiency scores drop sharply compared to last year, particularly among Latinos. Reading proficiency – a ranking of students who tested as “proficient” or “advanced” – among fourth-grade Latinos declined by 49 percentage points in one year, whereas Anglo reading proficiency in the same grade increased 1 percent. Third-grade reading scores dropped by 21 percent.But fifth-grade Latinos at Sopris Elementary increased their reading proficiency score by 5 percent. Fifth-grade Anglo students at Sopris Elementary performed well on the reading test, as well. Third- and fifth-grade Latino students performed exceptionally well in the math test.Superintendent Judy Haptonstall said district officials will study the data to find the cause behind the drop in reading proficiency at Sopris Elementary. Tenth-grade math proficiency at Roaring Fork High School in Carbondale improved by 13 percent since 2005.Basalt’s results also showed some areas where local students are performing below state standards, such as among third-grade readers. Anglo third graders at Basalt Elementary scored 62 percent, well above the state average, while their Latino classmates came in at 21 percent.In fifth-grade reading, Anglo scores rose from last year’s 79 percent proficient to 89 percent, while scores for Latinos jumped from 25 percent to 41 percent, though the average of 64 percent was still below the state average of 70 percent.Tests showed similar improvements in fifth-grade writing and math tests, both areas in which the Basalt scores came in higher than the statewide average.In some categories, the results showed Latino students gaining in proficiency while Anglo students lost ground. In seventh-grade reading results, for instance, the average score dropped from 76 percent in 2005 to 66 percent in 2006, pulled down by an Anglo decrease from 95 percent to 82 percent, while Latino scores rose from 38 percent to 45 percent.Basalt, in fact, outdid or equaled state averages in a number of grade levels in all subject areas.Aspen Times reporter John Colson contributed to this story.