DougCo test scores improve from 2019, bucking the state trend

Suzie Glassman

By: Suzie Glassman/NewsBreak Denver

(Castle Rock, CO) The percentage of Douglas County students meeting or exceeding state-level expectations on the Colorado Measures of Academic Standards (CMAS) in English language arts (ELA) and math increased from 2019, the last time students took both portions of the test.

ELA scores increased from 56.7% meeting or exceeding expectations in 2019 to 59.7% in 2022. Math scores for the same category went from 46.5% in 2019 to 49% in 2022.

"I am incredibly proud of our educators and our students. Their hard work during an unprecedented time is evident in these results," said Douglas County School District Superintendent Erin Kane.

"We are so fortunate in DCSD to have such a supportive community, where parents and educators partner together to focus on the success of our students. We look forward to building on this momentum in order to ensure our students have the brightest futures possible."

Participation rates in DougCo this spring were just over 86%, which is close to 2019 levels. Students did not take the test in 2020, and overall participation rates for 2021 are not available on the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) website.

DougCo fared better than the state overall, which saw higher participation and scores from 2021 but lower scores than in 2019. State scores dropped in almost every grade and subject from before the pandemic, while Douglas County's did not.

The district will send individual student reports by mail in the coming weeks. District and school-level reports are posted on the CDE website.

Achievement gap remains

White students met or exceeded expectations around 22% higher in ELA than Black students and 15% higher than Hispanic students.

The same is true for math. White students averaged 24% higher than Black students and 18% higher than Hispanics.

Also, students who qualify for subsidized school meals met or exceeded expectations in ELA and math at rates around 30% lower than those who don’t qualify.

About CMAS

The CDE, Colorado educators, and Pearson (the company that designs the test) developed CMAS to assess yearly student progress in ELA, math, and science. Students in grades three through eight take the ELA and math portions, while grades five, eight, and 11 also take the science portion.

Students didn't take CMAS in 2020 due to the pandemic and only took pieces of the test in 2021. This year's test was the first time since 2019 that students took the entire assessment as scheduled.

To learn more about CMAS, visit the CDEs parent resource website.

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