Nonproficient students still a concern in Re-1
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – While the Roaring Fork School District Re-1 has made impressive gains in terms of moving students closer to reading proficiency and closing the achievement gap for minority students, the district needs to remain mindful of another “gap,” one school board member implored this week.
“I am pleased with the progress, and I don’t want to diminish that,” Re-1 board member Myles Rovig said at Wednesday’s school board meeting, the first since the Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP) 2009 report was released earlier this month.
“But we need to be ever mindful of our goal of getting [students] 100 percent proficient,” Rovig said. “And, in looking at the reciprocal numbers, we still have a long way to go to close another gap … the partially proficient gap.”
Schools in Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and Basalt have made progress when measured by the new student growth model that was included with this year’s CSAP report. Gains by individual students over the last three years were reflected in all but two of the seven grade levels measured.
And, both Anglo and Latino students improved overall in terms of increasing their reading and writing proficiency – a primary goal of the pilot Closing the Achievement Gap project, of which Re-1 is one of six participating school districts in Colorado.
However, what gets lost in the tendency to focus on the positives, Rovig said, are the sometimes rather large percentages of students across the board who are scoring partially proficient and unsatisfactory in reading, writing, math and science.
“Especially when you look at the kids who are partially proficient, those are the students we can move up the quickest with the fewest resources,” he said.
Indeed, the number of Re-1 students scoring proficient and advanced in reading ranges by grade level from a low of 52 percent for fourth grade to a high of 72 percent for third grade.
That means anywhere from 28 percent to 48 percent of students are still in the partially proficient or unsatisfactory range. Proficiency levels are even lower when testing for writing, math and science.
Overall, Re-1 still lags behind the state average for students scoring proficient or advanced in all four areas of assessment.
Re-1 did move significantly closer to the state average this year at several grade levels, and continues to be on par with the state in ninth-grade reading at 67 percent proficient or advanced.
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