Garfield County’s Re-2 school district saw a nine point drop in third-grade Transitional Colorado Assessment Program (TCAP) reading scores this year. Sixty-three percent of Re-2 students scored proficient or better in 2014, compared to 72 percent in 2013. The state average has hovered in the low 70s.
Cactus Valley Elementary saw an increase to 85 percent, while Graham Mesa Elementary’s 70 percent proficiency is the highest since the building opened in fall 2009. All other Garfield Re-2 schools saw decreases in their third-grade TCAP scores — some significant.
Highland Elementary dropped one point to 58 percent, Kathryn Senor Elementary dropped 10 points to 66 percent, Elk Creek Elementary saw a 32 percent slip to 60 percent, and Wamsley Elementary dropped 21 points to 39 percent.
Dr. Susan Birdsey, superintendent of Garfield Re-2 School District said the district is taking the drop in reading scores seriously.
“We have already begun the process of looking at the systems, the processes and the root causes behind our reading scores,” Birdsey said. “The Garfield Re-2 teachers, staff, students and families have worked tirelessly to help every student succeed, and the importance of having students at grade level in reading by third grade can not be overstated.”
She added although the 2014 scores are disconcerting, it is not cause for panic.
“We understand that this is one data point, and it does not create a trend; however, it certainly has our attention,” Birdsey said. “We are using the third-grade TCAP data, our internal assessments, and we look forward to the release of the remaining TCAP scores and the Colorado Growth Model data to continue evaluating procedures, classroom instruction and educational strategies.”
TCAP data reflects a snapshot in time for one group of students as compared with a different set of students. The Colorado Growth Model data, to be released later this year, measures the academic progress each student has made in a year. However, rather than reporting a test score, the model illustrates how a student has progressed in comparison to other students with a similar TCAP history. The growth model calculates each student’s “growth percentile” or how much academic ground the student gains in a year based upon TCAP scores. Each student’s growth is ranked in relation to that of their academic peers.
“The goals of the Garfield Re-2 School District continue to be becoming a high-growth and high-achieving district,” Birdsey said. “We believe that the hard work and dedication of our staff, our families and our students will pay off. As a district, we will continue to dig deep into our data sources, TCAP, internal districtwide assessments, and classroom assessments to improve our systems and our practices.”