Wendy Seely's fourth-grade class works on Colorado history assignments Thursday afternoon at Sunset Elementary School. This week, the Colorado Department of Education released its school accountability report, which revealed that Moffat County students are scoring average on state assessments.

Photo by Hans Hallgren

Wendy Seely's fourth-grade class works on Colorado history assignments Thursday afternoon at Sunset Elementary School. This week, the Colorado Department of Education released its school accountability report, which revealed that Moffat County students are scoring average on state assessments.

Moffat County schools ranked 'Average' on state assessments

School Accountability Report results

Sunset Elementary School

• Overall Academic Performance on State Assessments: Average

• Academic growth of students: Stable

Ridgeview Elementary School

• Overall Academic Performance on State Assessments: Average

• Academic growth of students: Significant decline

East Elementary School

• Overall Academic Performance on State Assessments: Average

• Academic growth of students: Stable

Maybell Elementary School

• Overall Academic Performance on State Assessments: Unreportable*

• Academic growth of students: Unreportable*

Craig Intermediate School

• Overall Academic Performance on State Assessments: Average

• Academic growth of students: Stable

Craig Middle School

• Overall Academic Performance on State Assessments: Average

• Academic growth of students: Stable

Moffat County High School

• Overall Academic Performance on State Assessments: Average

• Academic growth of students: Decline

*Not enough student enrollment to compile report

Source: Colorado Department of Education

The report tells the story.

Although most schools in Moffat County are achieving projected academic growth, students are lodged in the middle of the bell curve on state assessments, according to the School Accountability Report released by the Colorado Department of Education.

The Department of Education released a report for every school across the state Wednesday.

A report card of sorts for the school district, the SAR uses Colorado State Assessment Program scores to evaluate how well the district is educating its students and meeting yearly progress goals, said Pete Bergmann, Moffat County School District superintendent.

This year, all schools across the district garnered the same rating on state assessments: Average.

For Bergmann, average isn't enough.

"We're not satisfied with being average," he said. "We'll continue to persist : to improve."

Yet attaining a higher rating can be difficult.

The state grades each school's combined CSAP scores on a bell curve, in which 40 percent of all the state's schools will be ranked average, Bergmann said.

For Moffat County, this grading system means schools may improve on CSAP scores yet not move out of the average category, depending where they stand among that 40 percent, Bergmann added.

While the district uses CSAP scores to assess its performance, it does not consider the tests the only indicator of academic progress.

"We think CSAP scores are a valid, challenging test : but we can't be totally focused on"them. Bergmann said.

Although the district as a whole scored an average rating, four of six schools whose scores could be gathered in the district maintained projected academic growth.

To evaluate academic growth, the state compares students' CSAP scores from the current and previous year. The state then subtracts the percentage of students whose scored better to those who scored worse.

The resulting percentage determines if a school's academic progress is decreasing or on the rise.

Moffat County High School showed a decrease in academic growth.

Ridgeview Elementary showed a significant decline in their students' academic growth.

The school's SAR showed its third-grade class garnered higher scores than that of its fourth grade in reading, writing and math.

Several factors can influence students' performance on state tests, including home life and health issues, Ridgeview principal Julie Baker said.

Baker couldn't attribute the scores to one particular source, she added.

"Once in a while, we get a class that struggles," she said. "It weighs heavy on us : when the staff tries everything under the sun to help (students) and it doesn't work."

Comments

John Kinkaid 6 years, 4 months ago

Once again; it's time for the Daily Press to ask the hard questions.

Isn't this at least the second year in a row in which the academic growth of students at Moffat County high school has declined? Average and declining. That's pretty bad.

How about digging a little deeper?

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CindyLou 6 years, 4 months ago

It's not just MCHS that is falling behind, schools all across the country are doing poorly. It's easy to blame the school and the teachers, but 90% of the problem clearly rests with the parents. Parents these days spend so much time trying to entertain their children. Only a handful actually makes their children read or study after school. Sure we have some nice kids, but they go off to college and spend their first years doing high school algebra and remedial science. If we all just turned the T.V. off (including the games) we all might just be better off.

In our country we subsidies those students (and the parents of those students) who don't want to produce better results. We spend way more on "alternative high schools" so the bottom end of the spectrum can get an education and do it at the expense of the top tiered students. US News and World Report says that the average Asian student spends 3 times more time studying than the average American student. Asian schools hold the students, parents, and teachers to a higher level of accountability and as a result achieve better outcomes.

I have even seen parents protest an assignment so their child doesn't have to do it because it "isn't fair." Little Timmy or Betty would have to spend more than 2 hours to complete it so they shouldn't have to do it. Simple fact -- the average 8th grader in1920 had to know more to graduate from elementary school than the average 12th grader does today (if you don't believe me rummage up an 8th grade basic skills and competency test from half a century ago and you will see for yourself). They learned on old books in old buildings and had better results. Why? because they held the student accountable and parents weren't spending all of their time and money to make sure their child was being entertained. If you acted up at school or didn't do your work your old man gave you the belt, he didn't buy you an X-Box and send you to a different school that catered to your needs. .

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grannyrett 6 years, 4 months ago

Boy CindyLou-You are 100% right. Most parents are too busy trying to be a friend to their kid instead of being a parent. There are no rules except their kid is right-everybody else if wrong. Teachers pick on their kids and grade unfairly. If I got in trouble in school, you could bet there would be h3!! to pay when I got home. I was raised on a ranch, so we didn't run around town a lot, but we were taught responsibility. We chose our actions, and if we chose the wrong one, we paid for it. It's called the school of hard knocks. I graduated with honors. I got through high school-we only had one kind of diploma back then, but I was in the top half of my class, and my parents didn't have to plant their boot in my you-know-what to get me to do my school work. They taught me responsibility at a young age, so that when I got up there, it was pretty well implanted. Parents need to be parents. Then maybe kids would be responsible.

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