Test results a mixed bag for Durango 9-R

Students do well on PSATs, SATs, performance dips on CMAS

The Colorado Department of Education released the 2017 state assessment test results, which include the Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS), PSAT and SAT exams. Students at Durango School District 9-R did well on the PSATs and SATs, but their performance declined on the CMAS language arts and mathematic exams. Enlarge photo

Durango Herald file

The Colorado Department of Education released the 2017 state assessment test results, which include the Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS), PSAT and SAT exams. Students at Durango School District 9-R did well on the PSATs and SATs, but their performance declined on the CMAS language arts and mathematic exams.

Editor’s note: This is the first installment of three stories examining the test scores for La Plata County schools.By Mia Rupani

Herald Staff Writer

Standardized test scores in Colorado are a mixed result for La Plata County Schools.

In general, Durango School District 9-R students scored above-average on the SAT, average on the PSAT (pre-SAT tests) and showed areas of decline on the state test.

The Colorado Department of Education released results from all three tests last week. The tests were taken by multiple grade levels in spring 2017.

Many districts are still in the early stages of analyzing the data.

“I don’t have any information at this time,” Durango School District 9-R spokeswoman Julie Popp said Thursday. “We plan to have a full picture for the Sept. 5 board meeting.”

About 550,000 students were tested from third through 11th grades.

Third- through ninth-graders were tested in language arts and mathematics, and fifth-, eighth- and 11th-graders took the Colorado Measures of Academic Success science exams.

A CMAS growth report released by the Colorado Department of Education shows the district’s growth percentile, which breaks down student progress from year-to-year.

Student growth percentile (ranging from 1 to 99) indicates how a student’s performance changed over time, compared to students with similar score histories on state assessments.

For example, a student in the 50th percentile means he or she grew as well or better than 50 percent of his or her peers.

Durango 9-R students scored in the 53rd percentile in language arts, which is better than average, but nine points lower than last year. In math, students scored in the 49th percentile, four points lower than in 2016.

Tenth-graders took PSATs, and 11th-graders took the SAT college entrance exam, which is now a state requirement.

In Colorado, 10th-grade students taking the PSATs scored an average of 478 on reading and writing, 10 points above the national average of 468, and 469 in mathematics, five points above the national average of 464.

Durango 9-R had 334 students take the PSATs, of which the average score for reading and writing was 493.7, about 16 points better than the statewide average.

In mathematics, Durango 9-R students scored an average of 467.9, about one point below state average.

Colorado 11th-graders who participated in the first statewide SAT exam administered scored an average of 513.4 in reading and writing – 33 points above the cutoff for “college readiness,” state data shows.

The mathematics results were less positive, with students scoring a statewide average of 500.9, almost 30 points below the college readiness score.

Durango 9-R students bucked the statewide SAT trend, scoring above state average and right below the national average of 539 in reading and writing, and 535 in mathematics.

Students scored an average of 536.9 on the reading and writing portion and 515.3 in mathematics.

mrupani@durangoherald.com

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