Cherry Creek School District outperforms statewide test scores

District’s scores still fall behind prepandemic numbers

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Cherry Creek School District’s 2022 standardized test scores outstripped the statewide performance but didn’t escape the troubling trend of test scores falling below 2019 numbers.

State officials celebrated student scores faring better in most cases than they did in 2021, the Colorado Department of Education said in a news release.

“But we continue to face the challenge of fully bringing kids back to the levels they were before the disruptions of the pandemic as well as closing the historic opportunity and achievement gaps,” Katy Anthes, Colorado’s education commissioner, said in the news release. She added: “With support from the COVID relief funds targeted at addressing lost learning opportunities, I’m confident we will continue our rebound.”

Statewide, across all grades that took the Colorado Measures of Academic Success test, 43% of students met or exceeded expectations for English. That’s about a 3 percentage-point decrease from 2019.

For math, across all grades that took the test, 32% met or exceeded expectations, representing a 3 percentage-point drop from 2019.

In Cherry Creek School District, across all grades that took the test, 49% of students met or exceeded expectations for English — about a 1 percentage-point decrease from 2019.

In math, across all grades that took the test in Cherry Creek, 40% met or exceeded expectations. That’s about a 3 percentage-point decrease from 2019.

The Colorado Measures of Academic Success is the state’s standardized test of students’ progress at the end of the school year. Students in grades three through eight take the CMAS tests in math and English language arts.

Cherry Creek generally outperformed several other Denver metro area school districts but wasn’t at the front of the pack. For comparison, some other metro Denver districts fared as follows:

• In Littleton Public Schools, 62% met or exceeded expectations in English and 48% did in math;

• In Jeffco Public Schools, 50% met or exceeded expectations in English and 37% in math;

• In Denver Public Schools, 39% met or exceeded expectations in English and 29% in math;

• And in Aurora Public Schools, 24% met or exceeded expectations in English and 14% in math.

"While Cherry Creek Schools continued to outperform state and national averages, we look at these results and know we have to continue focusing on the academic and social-emotional needs of students as we come out of the pandemic," said Abbe Smith, spokesperson for Cherry Creek district.

The state Education Department emphasized that students may have experienced ongoing learning disruptions in the 2021-22 school year as the coronavirus pandemic continued.

“While schools continued to transition to increased normalcy throughout the 2021-22 school year, the pandemic’s sustained impact on learning experiences for some students should be taken into consideration when interpreting spring 2022 results,” the department said in the news release.

Along with CMAS scores, the state also released SAT scores in mid-August. Statewide on the SAT, 58% met or exceeded expectations on the reading and writing section, a 1 percentage-point drop from 2019.

On the math section, 35% met or exceeded expectations, a 4 percentage-point decrease from 2019.

In Cherry Creek district, 68% met or exceeded expectations in reading and writing, a 0.2 percentage-point increase from 2019. On the math section, 46% met or exceeded expectations, a 7 percentage-point decrease from 2019.

In Colorado, 11th grade students attending public schools took the SAT, according to the state Education Department’s website.

Students’ participation in state assessments varies across schools, grade levels and student groups, according to the department.

Cherry Creek district had "significantly lower participation" in the 2022 CMAS testing, according to Smith.

"We are looking into the possible reasons for this decline in participation," Smith said. "The low participation rate also means that caution must be used in interpreting these results. We will be analyzing our CMAS results alongside our internal assessments, such as Fastbridge, which occur throughout the year to measure how well students are learning. These ongoing measurements help our educators to be responsive to student needs in a timely manner."

To see all the results and participation rates, including at the district level and school level, visit tinyurl.com/ColoradoTestResults2022.

Cherry Creek School District, CMAS, test scores, 2022, Centennial Colorado, Aurora

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