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Newly Released TCAP Scores Show Slightly Fewer Colorado Students Proficient in Core Subjects

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The Colorado Department of Education this week released the results of the 2014 Transitional Colorado Assessment Program, or TCAP, for reading, writing and math. The new results indicate that the percentage of Colorado students scoring proficient or above declined slightly across all three subjects, continuing a decade-long trend of relatively flat student achievement.

According to the new results, 68.9 percent of Colorado students in grades three through 10 were proficient in reading, down slightly from 69.5 percent in 2013. In math, 56.4 percent of students were proficient, declining from 56.7 percent in 2013. Proficiency levels were lowest in writing, where only 54.3 percent of Colorado students scored proficient or above, down from 55 percent in 2013. Additionally, the percentage of students who were making adequate yearly growth declined in each subject.

Equally as troubling, the gaps in achievement between children of color and non-Hispanic white children, as well as between low-income students and higher-income students, remained wide in 2014. In reading, for example, 80 percent of non-Hispanic white students scored proficient or above, compared to only 52 percent of Hispanic and black students. The new results do show, however, that proficiency rates have increased more quickly for English Language Learners than for other student groups during the past several years. For more detailed information on the 2014 TCAP results, click here to view a presentation by the Colorado Department of Education.

Administered to students in the spring of each year, the TCAP assesses how students are performing relative to grade level expectations. Beginning in 2015, the TCAP will be replaced by a new set of assessments aligned to the Colorado Academic Standards. The Children’s Campaign remains committed to ensuring that all Colorado students, no matter their background, have the support they need to master the reading, writing and math skills that will be critical to their future. -Photo: DPS

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  • comment avatar Stacey August 16, 2014

    BVSD spends more money per student than any other district in the state. This is how they compare.

    Boulder Valley composite scores
    2013, 2014
    Reading: 81, 80
    Writing: 69, 68
    Math: 71, 70

    Statewide composite scores
    2013, 2014
    Reading: 70, 69
    Writing: 55, 54
    Math: 56, 56

  • comment avatar Stacey August 16, 2014

    We choose to spend more in our local district through higher property taxes. Nearly half our funding for BVSD comes from that. As a result we have better schools, (the best in the state in terms of student achievement by a long shot). We pay our teachers more and encourage/motivate them to earn advanced degrees (cover their tuition). In fact the number one public high school in the state, Peak-to-Peak, has a nearly 35% out-of-district enrollment (we subsidize them as they don’t pay into our property tax mill levies).

    But for the record, our demographics are roughly equal to that of the rest of the state. BVSD isn’t just Boulder. In fact more than half the district’s enrollment comes from East Boulder County (Lafayette, parts of Erie, Louisville, Superior and parts of Broomfield). East county’s Hispanic population is way higher then JeffCo and DougCo, yet our schools outperform them on average by about 10 points per discipline (higher in math). We value education and are willing to pay more for it. The rest of the state should take notice.

  • comment avatar Brittany August 16, 2014

    I graduated in 1965, and Chemistry was one of my favorite subjects, along with advanced math. But I was an AP kid; most of my schoolmates didn’t take much, if any, Chemistry or Advanced Math. And that hasn’t changed.

    But I think we mostly agree. Kids who aren’t college material should learn trades in high school. And kids who go on to college should be encouraged to pursue fields where the job opportunities exist. We have enough philosophers already.

    It’s not enough to get a degree. It needs to be a degree in demand. Otherwise one becomes an out-of-work philosopher who can look things up, but can’t do anything that people are willing to pay for. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but I read a couple of years ago that half of the nation’s barristas have a Phd.

    Perhaps we should tie university funding to the incomes earned by the graduates they turn out.

  • comment avatar Farah August 16, 2014

    Having an educated society is a benefit to the state because an educated society creates wealth. Which is a financial benefit to the state

  • comment avatar Eva August 16, 2014

    So, twenty years of this ‘accountability’ education reform policy and scores are down or stagnant … even on the flawed tests the kids are forced to take. Furthermore, we know that the number of young people entering college who have to take remedial reading, writing and arithmetic is increasing.

  • comment avatar Analise August 16, 2014

    The state begins another era this spring, with a new set of statewide assessments aligned with Common Core, a national effort to establish more rigorous standards for what students should know.

    It is a national effort to turn our children into drones who can recite whatever BS some unelected bureaucrats in WDC feel our children need to be forced to recite.

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