Durango public-school students’ test scores stall

Durango School District 9-R students’ scores on standardized tests stagnated in 2012 but remained above the state average in all areas.

On Wednesday, the Colorado Department of Education released the scores for the Transitional Colorado Assessment Program, or TCAP.

Durango public-school students exceeded the average state performance in the percentage of students proficient and advanced in all areas, varying from 3 to 12 points above the state average.

Christy Bloomquist, supervisor of federal programs and assessments, said overall, the district’s performance was “fairly flat. There were a few ups and downs, and we didn’t have any significant gains, except for 10th-grade science. It’s somewhat disappointing. We really thought that some grade levels, like elementary, would show increases. But we know in the future what we need to work for and where we need to focus our efforts.”

Statewide, more than 100,000 public-school students are not on pace to achieve proficiency in math and writing in the next three years, or by the time they reach 10th grade.

Compared with 2011, Durango students not on track to reach state reading standards hit 70 percent, a 6 percent increase compared with 2011.

Scores from Ignacio and Bayfield school districts could not be obtained Wednesday.

Across the state, some of the lowest-performing schools posted some of the biggest gains in standardized tests this year, while many top-performing districts languished or lost ground.

According to a release by the district, its continued attempt to align itself with Colorado Academic Standards “should help move the district forward from the plateau performance that Durango public-school students encountered the last three to five years.”

The release said the district’s reading scores show overall stability, with this year’s scores ranging from 71 percent to 79 percent proficient and advanced.

“Fifth grade showed the largest decline at 6 percentage points below last year’s scores and seventh grade dropping 5 percentage points,” said the release. All other grade levels fluctuated between gaining 2 percentage points and dropping 3 percentage points, while sixth-grade scores were flat.

District writing scores declined at all grade levels except eighth grade, which had an increase of 2 percent. All other grade levels dropped between 1 and 8 percentage points.

District math scores remained stable compared with last year’s scores. There were no significant increases or decreases at any grade level. All grade levels fluctuated between an increase of 3 percentage points and a drop of 4 percentage points.

The science test was given only to the fifth, eighth, and 10th grades. Durango students showed a 5 percent increase in 10th grade. But eighth-grade scores dropped 6 percent and fifth-grade scores dropped 3 percentage points.

cmcallister@durangoherald.com. I-News Network contributed to this report.

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