2007 CSAP Results
PSD students top students statewide
Poudre School District students continued to perform higher than students statewide in all 27 areas tested in spring 2007 on the Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP) tests, announced July 31.
PSD’s district-wide average remains well ahead of state averages, from 8% to 19% higher in all subjects, at all grade levels. Overall, PSD students improved scores or remained the same on 20 of 27 tests. District average dropped slightly on 7 tests.
On the ACT test given to all 11th graders statewide, PSD’s students scored an average 21.4 on the composite, compared to 19.8 statewide. Two Rocky Mountain High School students, Ethan Dickinson and Jenna Pettinger, earned a perfect composite score of 36 on the ACT College Entrance Exam. Out of 51,000 students statewide who took the ACT this spring, only 24 scored a 36, the highest possible composite score. Their perfect scores qualify these students to attend the most selective universities in the nation. Dickinson and Pettinger, both juniors at RMHS when they took the exam last spring, will graduate from RMHS in May 2008.
The scores provide a snapshot in time of PSD’s alignment of curriculum to standards. This is the 11th year CSAP tests have been given, with results used to measure state and district effectiveness in delivering, and students’ skills in learning Colorado model content standards.
From 1996 through 2000, tests were scored differently, so no strong comparisons can be made between early tests and those given the last six years. Starting in 2001, CDE changed the structure of the test to give a better indication of the academic growth of students.
“The test itself is excellent,” says Chuck DeWayne, PSD’s director of curriculum, assessment and instruction. “It gives us good information on five levels—by student, classroom, grade level, school-wide, and district-wide—to help guide instruction. While we’re pleased that we continue to exceed the state averages at all grade levels, in all content areas, we can never be satisfied. We always strive for ways to improve in all areas.”
Among the highlights of this year’s CSAP scores:
- PSD students’ scores improved on 18 tests compared with 12 last year. Overall, PSD scores improved or remained the same on 20 of 27 tests.
- PSD made strong gains in 6 of 8 grades tested in math.
- PSD students’ science scores increased in all 3 grades tested (grades 5, 8, and 10).
PSD uses CSAP along with other testing or assessment tools to monitor student progress throughout the year.
“We continue to look at student progress on a individual basis, identify students who are lagging behind, and focusing on strategies to help those students,” says DeWayne. “We are improving our methods of monitoring progress throughout the year so we can adjust curriculum and guide instruction. Students are assessed frequently (in addition to CSAPs) so we can identify their needs during the school year.”
Additional assessments include Levels tests at several grade levels, Measures of Academic Progress (MAPs), Diagnostic Reading Assessments (elementary grades), Scholastic Reading Inventories (secondary grades) and “common assessments” in several content areas.
Recent organizational restructuring in PSD will increase collaboration between the divisions that oversee instruction, assessment, and professional development. Jan Borman, PSD’s new executive director of student achievement and professional development, will unite the efforts of Staff Development, Accreditation and Assessment, Curriculum and Instruction, Instructional Technology, Student Services, Special Education, and Research and Development to improve student academic achievement.
“With the support of these outstanding leaders, we’ll have the opportunity to support schools even more extensively than before,” says Borman, former principal at Dunn Elementary International Baccalaureate (IB) World School.
The state and federal government use CSAP scores for other purposes. CSAP scores are used to calculate Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) in conjunction with No Child Left Behind (NCLB) federal education legislation. The Colorado Department of Education is expected to release preliminary AYP calculations in August. In addition, the scores are used to calculate School Accountability Reports (SARs), detailed school reports sent to parents each January.
What do the categories assigned to student scores mean? Students who placed in the two lower categories (unsatisfactory and partially proficient) are not proficient in one or more standards in the subject area being tested. Whereas, students rated proficient or advanced are performing at or above grade level in the subject area on the standards being tested.
It’s important to remember that a different group of students is tested each year in each subject and at each grade level, so comparisons from year to year do not provide relevant information on the gains individual students are making.
Parents will receive their students’ individual CSAP results from their school early this fall. These reports will detail each student’s progress toward meeting standards, and provide an explanation of the performance categories.
2005-2007 Longitudinal Assessment
Reading Assessment Scores
Writing Assessment Scores
Math Assessment Scores
Science Assessment Scores