CMAS: PARCC Results to Arrive Soon

Friday, December 11, 2015 - 12:59pm

How to understand your student's score report

The Colorado Department of Education released district and school-level results for how students performed last spring on the new assessments in English language arts and math on Friday, Dec. 11. Parents who had a child take these assessments will receive their student’s individual score report in the next few weeks.

These assessments are often referred to as “PARCC tests” because they were developed by a consortium of states called the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC). These tests are part of the state’s overall assessment system, the Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS), which also includes tests in science and social studies.

New Test, New Scoring

When looking at results at any level — state, district, school or the individual student level — it’s important to keep in mind the following:

  • The number of students meeting and exceeding expectations on these new tests is lower than on the old tests. These results are our new baseline and mark the point from which we will grow.
  • The new scores cannot be compared to old results; comparing scores would be like comparing apples to oranges.
  • Lower scores don’t mean students aren’t progressing; they mean we’ve raised the expectations for our students. The new state tests are, for the first time, fully aligned to the Colorado Academic Standards which set higher expectations for students at each grade level, and are designed to provide a roadmap to help all students prepare for success in college and career.
  • We know our students can reach these higher standards and we look forward to seeing next year’s results to see how we’ve grown.
  • The new online tests are an improvement over prior paper assessments because they ask students to apply complex-thinking, problem-solving and persuasive-writing skills.

District Results

Similar to districts and schools across the state, the Five Star District saw the number of students meeting and exceeding expectations decline on these new tests.

In terms of performance, the district remains close to the state average. Across all grades tested in math, we are about two percent below the state average in the number of students meeting and exceeding expectations. For English language arts, we are about four percent below the state average. View district results in math and English language arts for each grade level as compared to the state average.   

While we have more work to do to improve student performance in terms of meeting these more rigorous standards, we are pleased that we’ve begun to narrow the gap between district and state performance in English language arts over the past couple years. We expect further improvements as we deepen implementation of improved reading and writing instructional practices.

Next Steps

Over the next few days parents will hear more from schools about these new assessments. We believe parents are a child's first teacher. Continued parent engagement is essential to a child’s educational success. The information you receive in the next few weeks about your child’s performance on these assessments, combined with other information like teacher feedback and scores on other tests or assignments, can be beneficial as parents work with their child's teacher to determine areas of strength and areas to work on.