Third-grade reading scores improve

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Moffat County third-graders performed better on state reading tests this year than last year, but a school district official said Friday there is still work to do.

Seventy-six percent of third-graders in Moffat County earned ratings of proficient or better on the Colorado Student Assess--ment Program test this year.

Last year, 72 percent of third graders earned ratings of proficient or better on the reading test.

"This is a pretty good score," said Moffat County School District assistant superintendent Joel Sheridan. "But we still think we have a few more percentage points to go."

In 2005, the school district saw a 7 percent decrease in the scores from 2004.

The district would like to see the scores climb at least another 5 to 10 percentage points from this year, Sheridan said.

"I think our goal is still to get into the low- to mid-80s," Sheridan said.

If the third-graders reach the low- to mid-80s, that would mean all of the students except a few special populations, such as students who aren't proficient in English and special-needs students, are proficient in reading, Sheridan said.

Moffat County had 6 percent more third-graders score proficient on the reading test than the state average of 70 percent this year.

Third grade is the first year Colorado students take the CSAP test.

The Colorado Department of Education releases third grade reading scores in May, and the results of tests in other grade levels and other subjects are released later in the year.

The other scores will be released the first week of August, according to the Dep--artment of Education.

Third-grade reading scores are released early because under state law, third-graders must be reading at a proficient level or they are placed on an individual literacy program.

"Obviously, it wouldn't do any good to release them in August," Sheridan said.

Brandon Johansson can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 213, or bjohansson@craigdailypress.com.

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