District 51 lags in academic growth
Students in School District 51 are not growing as fast on state assessments as their academic peers across the state, according to data released by the Colorado Department of Education on Tuesday.
The numbers represent how much students, schools and districts grew academically between 2015 and 2016, as measured by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) test.
The state’s median growth percentile is 50, so scoring lower than 50 indicates students are growing at a slower rate than the state median, and a higher score indicates faster growth than the state.
In English and language arts, District 51 was in the 42nd percentile for growth. In math, the district was in the 49th percentile for growth, according to data from the Colorado Department of Education.
Steve States, executive director for elementary schools at District 51, said the district must take into account low test participation when using growth data to evaluate students, teachers and programs.
“It’s a similar story to what we talked about with our achievement data,” States said. “We do have to consider low participation rates. Had they been higher, those scores might have been different, so we have to look at them with a bit of caution.”
Alyssa Pearson, associate commissioner of accountability and data analysis at the Department of Education, said opt-out rates tend to have less of an impact on growth rates than on achievement data.
“... But I think no matter what, you’re going to want to take in participation rates (as a factor),” Pearson said.
On state assessments before PARCC, District 51 students typically grew at or above the state median — hitting the 50th to 56th percentiles for growth in reading, writing and math between 2012 and 2014, though those were different tests that measured different standards.
The Department of Education will distribute student-level growth data to individual schools in October.