Drilling down on Jeffco assessment results

District officials on what results mean and how they’re working to catch students up.

Bob Wooley
bwooley@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 10/7/21

During the Sept. 2, Jefferson County Board of Education meeting, District officials including Dr. Carol Eaton, Executive Director of Instructional Data Services, presented the board an overview of …

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Drilling down on Jeffco assessment results

District officials on what results mean and how they’re working to catch students up.

Posted

During the Sept. 2, Jefferson County Board of Education meeting, District officials including Dr. Carol Eaton, Executive Director of Instructional Data Services, presented the board an overview of 2020 test results.

Eaton started her portion of the presentation by saying 2020-21 state assessment data is incomplete, making it important to add District assessment, MAP and Acadience results to CMAS and SAT results to get the full picture of where things stand.

In terms of where Jeffco met or exceeded state results, the graph below paints a picture of students struggling statewide, particularly in math, but Jeffco students holding their own in comparison to the rest of the state in CMAS scores.

In a later interview, Eaton said when looking at test data, it’s clear students were starting from a lower performance level than where they were pre-pandemic, but there’s also been progress.

Jef Fugita, Jeffco’s Executive Director, Curriculum & Instruction, said impacts from the pandemic are real, but the District is moving in the right direction to make up lost ground.

“One of the things we’re working on in elementary literacy is having all teachers make sure they complete the 45 hours of training that’s required by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE),” he said. “So, we’ve aligned literacy support for teachers at the elementary level. This school year we had two dates in August for teachers to participate in the “Science of Reading” training from CDE, online.”

Fugita said in assessing data to determine needs, the District first looks at the overall body of evidence and then looks at individual school results. 

Eaton said from there, they look at challenges schools are facing and root causes beneath those challenges to create unified improvement strategies.

Fugita said it’s important to remember that behind every test score is a student. He said those students come with differing needs and supports.

Another thing the District has seen, Fugita said, is an increase in the needs for mental health support. He wants to reiterate that looking at overall needs adds needed context in telling a more complete story of the District’s test scores. 

In upper grades, PSAT and SAT results show Jeffco students coming in slightly ahead of statewide total mean scores. 

Eaton said parents who are concerned about district test results, or who just want more information, should check out the “School Insights” page on the JeffcoPublicSchools.org website. 

A visit to “School Insights” shows Jeffco’s MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) results for 2020-21. The test is broken into two subjects (math and reading) and administered three times (beginning, middle and end) during the school year. With scores in the 50th percentile being considered average statewide, here’s how Jeffco fared.

In reading, district scores were 56%,  54% and 50% respectively. Reading growth came in at 49%, just below the national average of 50%.

Math scores were worse. Students in the district scored 44% at the beginning of the year, 46% mid-year and 43% at the end of the year. But growth in math showed Jeffco students scoring in the 56th percentile, six points above the national average.

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