CSAP reading scores improve

Reading test results for Moffat County's third graders were slightly higher this year than last. And the scores last year were good enough to earn each of Craig's three elementary schools an "average" rating for academic performance.

Results were released Monday for the Colorado Student Assessment Program test that elementary school students took during the last week in February.

Of the three elementary schools whose scores were reported, all improved. Districtwide, the number of unsatisfactory ratings decreased 3 percent and the number of proficient ratings increased 5 percent. "The results showed about what we expected," Superintendent of Schools Pete Bergmann said.

Ridgeview Elementary School charted the highest number of students in the proficient range, but also had the highest number in the unsatisfactory range.

Sunset Elementary School followed with 76 percent of students tested ranking proficient. The school also had the highest percentage of advanced students and the lowest percentage of unsatisfactory students. Results weren't posted for Maybell Elementary School because reporting the scores of such a small number of students provides the opportunity for those students to be identified.

Three Maybell Elementary School students took the test.

Comparing this year's test results with last year's is difficult, Bergmann said, because administrators are looking at two different groups of students. Students take the CSAP test for the first time in third grade, so there is no other score to compare their performance to.

What the results do provide, Bergmann said, is a broad-stroke visual as to where the school district is in its reading curriculum.

At the third-grade level, students are tested in one content area -- reading comprehension. Other tests are used in conjunction with CSAP to give the district a full picture of students' progress and needs.

"Any time we get a one-time snapshot on content, we take it as one portion of a body of evidence," Bergmann said. "The CSAP doesn't give us the detail and data to really analyze our reading program."

Overall, Bergmann is pleased with the CSAP results, but said there is always room for improvement. "That's what we concentrate on," he said. Based on the test, schools are issued overall academic performance ratings of "unsatisfactory," "low," "average," "high," or "excellent."

East, Ridgeview and Sunset elementary schools each have an average rating. Maybell Elementary School is ranked excellent.

Underperforming schools can obtain assistance from the Colorado Department of Education in the development of a school improvement plan. Consistently low-performing schools risk being converted to charter schools.

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