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News Release - Student achievement results show slight decline in all subject areas

Aug. 14, 2014

Student achievement results show slight decline in all subject areas

Board hears second set of findings in the assessment implementation study

The Colorado State Board of Education met for its regularly scheduled meeting on Aug. 13 & 14. Highlights from the meeting include:

Student Achievement Results

The board was presented summary findings of the 2014 Transitional Colorado Assessment Program (TCAP) and Colorado Growth Model results for 2014.

    • Across all grades, all content areas had a decrease in the percentage of students scoring Proficient or Advanced compared to 2013.
    • Fewer students made adequate growth this year compared to last year.
    • The achievement gap for black and Hispanic students has remained large with only slight narrowing.
    • The growth gap for minority students mirrors that of the achievement gap.
    • Proficiency rates increased for English language learners faster than other student subgroups over the past six years.
    • Proficiency rates have consistently increased, with high median growth percentiles, for some districts and schools across the state.
    • Districts Accredited with Priority Improvement or Turnaround Plans in 2013 showed declines in proficiency in 2014, similar to the state.

For the full results, visit assessment data and results page or Growth model.


In a study session on assessments, staff addressed questions previously asked by the state board related to the new assessment blueprints, frameworks and development process.  To see the questions and answers, click here.

Following that discussion, researchers from WestEd presented findings from Phase II of the assessment implementation study.  Phase I results were shared at the May 2014 board meeting. To view the presentation, click here. The board engaged in discussion and asked staff to research further  federal minimums, local flexibility, school readiness  and tests in the 12th-grade.

The state board adopted cut scores and their associated performance level descriptors for the Colorado Measures of Academic Success and the Colorado Alternate Assessment for science and social studies. To view the board presentation, click here.

Recognition of Outstanding Students & Educators

The board recognized the following student artists that placed in the congressional art competition for their outstanding work:

    • Anna Le Pham, 1st Congressional District
    • Chandler Kahl, 2nd Congressional District
    • Ryan Maestas, 3rd Congressional District
    • Trevor Seymour, 4th Congressional District
    • Annette Tennfjord, 5th Congressional District
    • Sophia Coney, 6th Congressional District
    • Austin Skrdlant, 7th Congressional District

The student artwork will be installed in the State Board Room through June 2015. 

The state board recognized three Colorado schools that earned the prestigious national Green Ribbon Award and one district that earned the District Sustainability Award.

Larkspur Elementary School (Douglas County School District) received district innovation funds to implement an environment-based education program.  Larkspur takes pride in its longstanding garden initiatives that teach students about nutritious, organically grown foods.  Over the past 10 years, parents, teachers, and students have built two outdoor gardens where students have planted, grown and harvested vegetables.  The district chef has come to show students how to take food from garden to table and nutrition services has provided information and contests to challenge the kids to build a colorful plate full of vegetables.

Lesher Middle School (Poudre School District) has made a commitment to sustainability in five areas: resource conservation, greenhouse gas emissions, education for sustainability, transportation and health and wellness.  Lesher also hosts the annual Bike-to-School Week, when nearly 40 percent of the students and staff reduce vehicle miles traveled by biking to school, logging approximately 4,000 miles. 

Mesa Elementary School (Montezuma-Cortez School District) is in its third year of working cooperatively with McKinstry, an energy-efficiency contractor, to address energy education and operational optimization. The campaigns spearheaded by this organization have challenged students and staff to continually assess, audit and address energy and resource consumption at school and at home. 

Boulder Valley School District is building on 20-plus years of environmental stewardship and embracing environmental sustainability at a new level.  Some specific highlights of the district’s work include a 34-percent decrease in water use since 2008, and an 18-percent decline in energy use since 2010. BVSD’s Environmental Services takes an aggressive approach to investigating indoor air quality concerns.  It monitors for oxygen, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, methane (LEL), temperature, relative humidity and respirable and non-respirable particles. 

For more, visit

Other Action

Commissioner Robert Hammond requested a formal opinion on the READ Act rules as they pertain to the use of Spanish assessments for determining if a student has a significant reading deficiency.  Counsel from the Attorney General’s Office presented the opinion for board discussion. To view the opinion, click here.

    • The board voted to reinstate the exclusive chartering authority for Summit School District.

Rulemaking Hearing

    • The board decided to hold the Colorado Counselor Corps Grant Program rules for a vote in September.

Emergency Rules

    • The board approved emergency rules for the administration, certification and oversight of Colorado Online Programs.
    • The board approved emergency rules for the administration of the instruction in cardiopulmonary resuscitation in public schools grant program.
    • The board approved emergency rules for the administration of the school health professional grant program.

Notice of Rulemaking

    • The board approved the notice of rulemaking for the rules for the administration of the instruction in cardiopulmonary resuscitation in public schools grant program.
    • The board approved the notice of rulemaking for rules for the administration of the school health professional grant program.