DougCo schools meet state assessment expectations

Suzie Glassman
Colorado Department of Education

By: Suzie Glassman/NewsBreak Denver

(Castle Rock, CO) DougCo students met expectations for Colorado’s accountability framework in 2021, earning Accredited: Low Participation.

DougCo earned 66.9% of the total points possible, missing the Accreditation with Distinction honor by seven percentage points. DougCo hasn’t reached the top mark since 2014.

According to the CDE, “Official ratings are based on student outcomes on key performance indicators: Academic Achievement, Academic Growth, and Postsecondary & Workforce Readiness. Districts and schools earn points for each key indicator, which are then combined to determine the overall percentage of points earned. “

Low participation means less than 95% of students participated in two or more content areas on state assessments that measure how many students are meeting grade-level standards.

That state notes that less than 95% participation by the total number of students or by any subcategory, like low income or special education, could make the results less representative of the district’s performance.

Participation totals don’t include students who opt out of standardized tests with a parent excuse.

The state identified three out of DougCo’s 89 schools needing improvement: Castle Rock Middle School, Sedalia Elementary, and Larkspur Elementary. Hope Online Academy Middle School received the lowest ranking: Priority Improvement Plan.

Six schools did not provide sufficient data to receive a ranking, meaning not enough students participated in state tests. Those schools are Cherry Valley Elementary, Daniel C. Oakes High School, Eagle Academy, eDCSD, and Roxborough Elementary.

More districts receive low rankings

Only 11 of the state’s 184 districts earned Distinction honors, down from 20 last year. And 64 fewer schools received the next top category.

However, the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) warns the results are preliminary, and early comparisons to last year may not be accurate. Districts and schools can request the state reconsider if they have a greater than 90% participation rate.

“The frameworks demonstrate the same thing we saw with our assessment results – that we still have work to do to rebuild following the pandemic. This is a transitional year with the process working a little bit differently, but the information in our frameworks is still critical because it helps us know where to target additional resources and support for students who need it the most,” said Antes.

Approximately 40% of Colorado’s districts did not provide enough data to receive a ranking, up from zero the year before. State Commissioner of Education Kathy Antes said this result is because the department cannot run three-year frameworks, which impact smaller systems. Some schools and districts also experienced low participation.

Schools that don’t meet expectations are put on an accountability clock and must show improvement or face intervention from the state. The CDE put the clock on hold for the last two years because the pandemic disrupted state test taking.

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I'm a reporter covering the Douglas County School District in Colorado.

Denver, CO

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