CSAP scores `disservice,’ report claims | PostIndependent.com

CSAP scores `disservice,’ report claims

Carrie Click
Post Independent Staff

When Colorado’s School Accountability Reports were released last November for the 2001-02 school year, Carbondale’s public school educators felt like a kid with a bad report card.

But it was a report card riddled with false information, says an advocate of the town’s schools. In fact, they outscored some other schools in the Roaring Fork School District.

Based on Colorado State Assessment Program testing, none of the four Carbondale schools tested scored an excellent or even a good rating. (Crystal River Elementary School did not receive a rating.)

For overall academic performance, Carbondale Elementary School received a low rating, and Carbondale Community School, Carbondale Middle School, and Roaring Fork High School all received average ratings.

But closer inspection by the Carbondale Schools Advocacy Committee revealed the schools’ average to low ratings didn’t accurately reflect its students’ educational experiences.

Seeing this inequity, Carbondale’s Schools Advocacy Committee members Ron James and Artie Rothman studied the CSAP results, using statistics from 9th and 10th graders at Roaring Fork High School.

By picking apart the data, they found the school’s overall test score was average not because the students weren’t learning and achieving, but because Carbondale’s Latino student population is the largest in the district.

In fact, among 9th and 10th graders overall, the committee’s analysis shows that Carbondale’s Anglo students outscored one or both of the district’s other high schools in reading, writing and math. Its Latino students outscored one of the district’s other schools in reading and writing.

“The higher ratio of non-English-speaking students is found in all Carbondale schools,” the committee’s report reads.

“Obviously, when you average all students’ CSAP scores, as the state Department of Education does, the average is lower. When the scores are disaggregated and schools are compared `apples to apples,’ the results are very different,” the report states. “The Department of Education is clearly doing all Coloradans a disservice reporting scores the way it does.”

Contact Carrie Click: 945-8515, ext 518


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