Jefferson County Public Schools students performed better in this year’s state standardized testing than in 2012, but Superintendent Cindy Stevenson said there are areas for improvement.
Jeffco students showed proficiency gains in 17 of the 27 tests that make up the Transitional Colorado Assessment Program, also known as TCAP.
That’s an improvement from the district’s 2012 assessment results, where students improved in only seven categories of testing.
Stevenson said that the results are even more impressive, considering that the district has had to do more with less over the last few years. She pointed to obstacles that included the district working with $63 million less in funding than it had in 2009, and an increase in children living in poverty in the 85,000 student district.
“And yet, we went up,” Stevenson said. “I think our school district is doing remarkable work.”
Jeffco students outperformed the rest of the state in each content area and grade level. Jeffco students’ scores “met or exceeded the state expectation of the 50th percentile in reading, writing and math,” according to a district news release.
The district is also touting other highlights that are found in this year’s TCAP scores, such as 8th and 10th grade science scores reaching all-time highs this year. Also, students in grades 9 and 10 exceeded expectations in math proficiency. And the district saw “steady increases” in 4th and 7th grade reading scores.
Stevenson is also pleased by the gains being made by Hispanic students, who made double-digit scoring gains in many areas this time around.
But Stevenson did express concern over 3rd grade writing and math scores, as well as some downward scoring trends at the 9th grade level.
Stevenson said the district will look into what happened at those grade levels and will then take the proper course of action.
“I want every student’s score to go up,” she said. “A one percent score change here or there equates to 60 real children who I want to see succeed.”